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October 11, 2007

Weirdly Similar….
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 02:45 PM *

…are the opening lines of Dark Prince (Del Rey, 1993; reprinted 2007) by David Gemmell (The golden-haired child sat alone, as he usually did, and wondered whether his father would die that day….) and Of Atlantis (Roval Publishing, 2007) by Lanaia Lee (The golden-haired child sat alone, as he usually did, and wondered whether his Father would die today….).

Via and quoting from Dear Author we find a “Top Ten Tips for Plagiarists” list. The tips begin:

10. Don’t claim the dog did it. We all know that all but a very few dogs, maybe none other than Underdog, is capable of the task because they have no opposable thumbs. In fact, blaming it on any animal makes us suspect unless it is one of the gorillas studied by Dian Fossey.

9. Don’t plagairize someone famous. The more popular the author, the more likely you’re plagiarism will be caught out. Try to find someone obscure.

8. Don’t blame it on depression or physical disability, i.e., wheelchair bound stroke victims. Only because that insults wheelchair bound stroke victims everywhere.

7. Don’t set up a website and post the plagiaristic material. If it is on the web, someone is bound to find it, particularly when google indexes it.

6. Don’t do interviews. Again, the more people that hear about you, the more likely that your stealing will be sussed out. Try to rip as many people off before the gig is up.

…and continue, devastatingly and hilariously, in that vein.

“I write because I feel each person has something unique to share with the world and writing is my gift to share” says Lanaia on her web page. There we learn that Of Atlantis

…first book of a five book fantasy series, will be released this fall, watch for it! Read an except. Publisher: Roval Publishing.

Five book fantasy series? By golly! Dark Prince was the second volume of a five-book alternate history series. Coincidences never stop, do they?

Roval is a pay-to-play vanity press. “Roval Publishing is the future of publishing,” is what they say about themselves. Check for the number of linguistic markers in their bullet-list:

* Respect — We respect you as a writer always.
* Responsibility — We embrace the responsibility to bring your work to publication.
* Commitment — We are totally committed to you as an author.
* Ownership — We recognize and endorse that YOU own the work.
* Quality — We strive for a quality product that you can be proud of.

Just in case Lanaia’s website suddenly and mysteriously goes down or gets changed, here are a couple of screen shots:

[Lanaia Lee Home Page]From Lanaia’s front page.
[Lanaia Lee _Of Atlantis_]The prologue from Of Atlantis.
[First page from Dark Prince (at BN.com)]The first page from Dark Prince.
Comments on Weirdly Similar....:
#1 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:01 PM:

Really, now. Plagiarizing opening lines? What has to go through a person's head to think that wouldn't get caught? I mean, it's the freaking opening line for pete's sake.

#2 ::: Tom Scudder ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:05 PM:

This may just be my crappy old version of IE, but somehow the screenshots are pushing down over the Doris Lessing post immediately following (on the main page).

#3 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:08 PM:

It isn't just the opening line. It's the whole opening page. And presumably the second page, third page, and so on. They're near-identical as far as the available excerpt goes. In one place Lanaia even forgot to change the name of the character from Alexander (in the original by David Gemmell) to Archimedes (in her version).

#4 ::: Alyssa Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:08 PM:

From the message board, quoth the author:

Lanaia: When I first started Of Atlantis, I hire a ghost writer Christopher Hill. I see what he did now and for that I aplogize. I was scammed. I apologize to Mr. Hemmel's memory and his family.

*snickers*

#5 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:09 PM:

I'm trying to fix the screen-shot problem.

#6 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:13 PM:

On Firefox, the screen shots are spilling into the comments header and the comments.

Maybe put a nbsp paragraph after the pictures? Something like that?

#7 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:17 PM:

Christopher Hill writes plagiarized fantasy novels from beyond the grave?

What *will* he get up to next?

#8 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:20 PM:

Safari too. Try: [ br clear='all' ] at the end of the post.

That will clear all the floaty bits.

#9 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:21 PM:

Well, she did say he was a ghost writer...

#10 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:23 PM:

Tracie--

Thank you, thank you. We'll be here all week! Try the veal...it's spectacular!

#11 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:23 PM:

W00t, Jim! The tables did the trick for Firefox!

#12 ::: ed g. ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:26 PM:

Publisher: Roval Publishing.

I first read this as "Ryoval Publishing", which explained everything.

#13 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:36 PM:

still having the screenshots in the comments in firefox.

#14 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:38 PM:

Briefly (and inadvertently) reverted to an earlier version. It should work now.

#15 ::: meteorplum ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:39 PM:

So Ms. Lee has to share "something unique", which she admits to having been ghostwritten (possibly from Beyond), via a vanity press. Is this Bizarro Book Publishing World Day or a story from The Onion? My brain hurts.

#16 ::: Dorothy Rothschild ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:39 PM:

Sarah S and Tracie - can you guys come up for the Fringe? You're funnier than a lot of the 'comedians' I've seen.

I'm in Firefox (2.0.0.7) and the screenshots are now drooping into the first three comments, which are scrunching over to the sides of their boxes so as to avoid being squashed.

I have to say that while I understand the logic of properly citing your own work, it does seem odd to be accused of plagiarizing yourself. Why not quote your own master's thesis just for the glee of seeing your name in the bibliography?

#17 ::: Tom Scudder ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:40 PM:

Screenshots look fine now in my old/crappy IE.

#18 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:41 PM:

The sad part is that it doesn't really come as a surprise. We all know that vanity presses deal with heaps of text, not the written word, and even if they did actually read a portion of the book, they very well might not have the literary background to recognize it.

As for the author, people do a lot of crazy things for attention. At least this one was relatively benign in the grand scheme of things.

#19 ::: Dorothy Rothschild ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:43 PM:

James @ 14 - fine here now, ta muchly.

#20 ::: Harry ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:43 PM:

The same page has submission guidelines for the author's ezine. Of course they pay in "exposure" (with an admonition to "be optimistic") and offer $25 for the story of the month.

They also let writers "maintains complete rights to his/her work" even though they're presumably going to be published.

But silly, contradictory guidelines can be attributed to a certain gormless quality so prevalent on the internet. That plagiarism can't.

#21 ::: Nomie ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 03:57 PM:

From her "yellbox", it appears Ms. Lee is unwilling to discuss the issue:

Lanaia: I have erractic hypertension, you keep dogging me I could have another stroke, contact my agent and attorney, I'm sure no one wants mt blood on their hands
Lanaia: I take total responsibility, and under the advice of my attorney, this will be fixed. My stroke, I almost died, I would never intentionally take advantage of the dead. Contact my agent and lawyer

Fascinating. Exposing her plagiarism is going to lead to blood on your hands, people! How could you do that?!

#22 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 04:01 PM:

re #21

Where's Jim?

I don't *think* people bleed out from strokes...but I get all my medical info from House and CSI, so I could be wrong....

#23 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 04:13 PM:

I haven't yet written my (planned) post on strokes. Yes, you can have a hemorrhagic stroke (aka "brain bleed"). On a scale from good to bad, they're way over there on the "bad" side.

As to Christopher Hill, there was a scam agent in the UK by that name, who strung people along with increasingly grand stories of their works being reviewed, then accepted, by major US publishers. This even (IIRC) went as far as contracts. Then he vanished. When the authors contacted the publishers directly, they found (wonder of wonders!) that the publishers had never heard of a) their works, or b) Mr. Hill.

But look ye at Ms. Lee's own agent, Cheryl Pillsbury. Ms. Pillsbury has not only managed to sell her clients' work to Roval Publishing, she's gotten contracts with PublishAmerica!

Regardless of whether Mr. Hill was involved, hiring a ghostwriter at all is an odd thing to do for a person who claims that "writing is my gift to share."

#24 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 04:13 PM:

Um, Jim--I'm reading the #10 on the "Dear Author" list and shouldn't it be "all but a very few dogs is INcapable of" plagiarism? (Actually, the old grammar teacher in me wants it to be "all/are," too, but that doesn't matter to the sense . . .)

And neither as anything to do with your main point, of course. This is wild.

#25 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 04:18 PM:

Sarah S

Not that way, normally.
And if her health is so fragile that being challenged for plagiarism is life-threatening, she might want to rethink her recreational activities. (No, I'm not very sympathetic to her. The people I know who've had strokes still manage to have better judgement that this.)

#26 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 04:19 PM:

Speaking of grammar quibbles, the plagiarist "is a stroke victim that."

#27 ::: glinda, who is not necessarily good ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 04:20 PM:

Tracie @ 9, Sarah S @10, 22:

Good thing I'd put the coffee cup down before reading those... (thanks; I needed laughter today.)

#28 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 04:20 PM:

Sarah S @22: IIRC strokes are caused by either a blood clot in the brain (ischemic) or a blood vessel in the brain breaking (hemorraghic).

Not sure if you can bleed out from one. There's only so much space available inside the skull...

#29 ::: Matt ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 04:21 PM:

*vomits in the exact same way that George Bush vomitted on the Prime Minister of Japan.*

#30 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 04:25 PM:

Myself, @24: Neither "HAS" anything to do with your main point, blast it. Fumble fingers strikes again.

#31 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 04:49 PM:

The yellbox has just been blanked out.

I do so love seeing a plagiarism takedown in action.

#32 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:11 PM:

My name is Cheryl Pillsbury, published in my own right, I'm also the founder of AG Press which did the work on the book, 'Of Atlantis.' Come to find out from a deep search into this issue, we discovered a former literary agent she worked with on this book gave her advice on how to write the prologue. Come to find out, it is simular to his book. We didn't know this, we don't know him and never did until today. We do apologise for this, we are planning to do a re-write and remedey this issue.

For people who throw stones at glasses houses should be very cautious about speaking before they know the truth. Slander can cause a major lawsuit from the author and the publisher mentioned, because I will make sure they know about this and dear Jane will have nightmares in 10 fold. Yes, I'm Wicca.

I was just informed, the author has already set the motions for the lawsuit, be prepared. You were told by the lawyer not to post anything related to this issue, first amendement does not apply. I have made a copy of this site for proof, see you soon. Have a ducky day.

#33 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:19 PM:

That was quick.

#34 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:23 PM:

He shoots, he scores!

#35 ::: Alyssa Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:23 PM:

Weeeellll. I am even more amused.

#36 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:24 PM:

Cheryl--

Your e-lawyer threats are baseless and laughable. You grammar is atrocious and for the head of a publishing company, your clarity of thought is like dribbling sputum.

PROTIP: true statements of fact are not defamation.
BONUS PROTIP 100%: unless the statement is defamatory per se, a rapidly shrinking category, statements which do not cause actual, quantifiable damage are not actionable defamation.

#38 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:26 PM:

James MacDonald, thank you for your words. It is true what Mr. Hill did to Mary, we found the proof and plan to to solve the problem. I have publishing contracts with four publishers, and nice in their way, but Roval is my favorite, because they work with the author one on one. If I could find Mr. Hill, he would sued to no end for what has caused Mary. Yes she's in a wheelchair because she suffered three strokes and had six miscarriages. It's not a ploy, its fact and a hard one for and her husband who suffered permanent injuries leaving him disabled. If anything this should be something to make us stronger, look at what they have succeeded at. Jane should apologize and pray she didn't mean the lawsuit, because Jane was told by attorney not to post anything related to this issue until we knew the truth, oh well. It shows some people will never grow up.

#39 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:29 PM:

Wow, we were just threatened with witchcraft. I haven't been threatened with witchcraft in a good fifteen years. (Yes, I have been threatened with it before. But not by a Wiccan. They usually know better.)

I wonder if I get to be a target of the spell and the lawsuit? Do I need to say the book's opening paragraphs are identical to another book's opening paragraphs?

How do I get in on the action?

#40 ::: Nomie ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:30 PM:

Mary? I thought her name was Lanaia.

And who's Jane?

#41 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:30 PM:

#32

What? Really?

Was that seriously a post containing both threats of Witchy Curses AND Already Filed Lawsuits?

#42 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:31 PM:

Second lame legal threat in three days? Is that a record for Making Light?

Are the remedeys simular?

David Gemmell was Lanaia Lee's agent? Or was Christopher Hill channeling David Gemmell? I'm not sure what Pillsbury is trying to say.

#43 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:31 PM:

Oh, look! The cartooney! Shortly after I posted this entry I talked with Miss Teresa. I predicted, right then, that we were going to get threatened with a lawsuit. But I didn't suspect it would come from soi disant "literary agent" Cheryl Pillsbury!

Hiya, Cheryl! Too bad about that grammar.... But as long as we have you here, I'd like to ask a question about your agenting.

How much do you charge?

#44 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:32 PM:

people who throw stones at glasses houses which also serve as porcelain shops inside of which can be found a bunch of cranky bulls... Comedy ensues.

#45 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:32 PM:

This is the third time I've heard someone excuse themselves of plagiarism on the grounds that they'd had some unreachable third party write it for them, and that that third party was the one who committed the plagiarism.

I guess they must not have dogs.

#46 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:32 PM:

Yes her name is Lanaia Lee and Jane is Jane Little from DearAuthor.com. I'm not a witch per say, but I defend those who are being wronged and Lanaia is being wronged major time.

#47 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:33 PM:

he would sued to no end for what has caused Mary

This makes no sense. Sorry, but someone who claims to be a writer ought to write better than this.

#48 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:33 PM:

The agent "writes" remarkably like the author. How about that.

Seriously, Cheryl Pillsbury, you can't write consecutive coherent sentences, let alone a legal threat that makes a lick of sense. Anything above arguing with your pets is out of your league. I'd advise you to stop before you make a larger fool of yourself. You won't, of course, but the recommendation is on record.

#49 ::: Lena ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:33 PM:

Mary is the pen name for Lanaia. Jane is the host of a website called Dear Author, which posted the article that James linked to. I think Cheryl has the two websites mixed up.

#50 ::: Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:35 PM:

"Cartooney"? Is there a pun I'm missing? What's the derivation of the word?

#51 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:35 PM:
Lanaia is being wronged major time.

This is my favorite kind of bad writing: can't deploy the most common idiom without mangling it.

More!

#52 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:36 PM:

Cheryl (46): Major league, okay. Big time, also okay. Major time, not okay.

#53 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:37 PM:

Wicca? @32: Cheryl, if you truly knew anything about Wicca, you would not have used the term "10 fold."

Wicca teaches that whatever we do returns to us three fold. I've been a practicing Witch since 1969.

BTW, the author you're defending has stolen an already published work. If anyone has the right to sue in this situation, it's David Gemmell and his publisher.

#55 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:38 PM:

Jon (50), a cartooney is a huffing-and-puffing fake threat to bring on the lawyers and lawsuits.

#56 ::: Harry ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:39 PM:

I'm sure "Jane" is the writer of the original list on the Dear Author page.

#57 ::: Anna Pearson ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:40 PM:

Cheryl,

I do rather hope that no Wiccan threats shall be made towards the family of David Gemmell.

After all it's been a rather difficult year for them with David dying and all.

You and your client should really be ashamed of causing them more distress and an apology is warranted rather than threats of lawsuits and nightmares tenfold, wouldn't you think??

#58 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:42 PM:

Apparently Cheryl Pillsbury does not believe in the threefold rule.

#59 ::: icarus ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:43 PM:

this is the most amazingly special thing i have seen in quite some time.

in fact, i dare say it beats the art-plagerist who claimed her 3 year old used her computer to edit art in photoshop and repost them to a message board where they got digital money for them.

#60 ::: Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:43 PM:

a cartooney is a huffing-and-puffing fake threat to bring on the lawyers and lawsuits.

I got that, I wanted to know where the word came from.

#61 ::: Harry ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:45 PM:

Man, it's tough to keep up with the traffic around here.

I'm sure that, by the time I get this post finished, "Cheryl Pillsbury" will have already moved past threats of lawsuits and onto "I posted this as a test and you all failed!"

#62 ::: Lyli ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:46 PM:

Ok, we have the author with the pathetic life story that was "wrongly accused" of plagiarism (written by a third party, of course) who is being valiantly defended by her agent who brings "already filed lawsuits" and threats from a set of beliefs they clearly do not belong to. All we need now is another sock puppet and we'll be all set for Your Typical Attention Seeking Plagiarist That Was Caught. (note the capitalization of doom, generally abused by such authors).

(I apologize for grammar/spelling mistakes, this isn't my main language and I'm not always too comfortable with it.)

#63 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:50 PM:

*gets the popcorn out*

Shouldn't an actual qualified agent be better at PR than this? Because public relations? That would be part of the job.

#64 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:51 PM:

Yes, I'm Wicca

I'm not a witch per say

Ooo! Ooo! I get it! You have, perhaps, written Willow fic? The misspelling seems familiar.

#65 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:52 PM:

Well hey...

Maybe she has money left over from her other nationwide books, even after sponsoring a poet:
( link here )

#66 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:52 PM:

Tiny thing, but it's been niggling at me: did anyone else notice that Lee could not even spell her agent's name correctly on her website? All these odd spelling errors are making me wonder just how many people are writing.

Or how few.

#67 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:54 PM:

Cheryl @38: "I have publishing contracts with four publishers, and nice in their way, but Roval is my favorite, because they work with the author one on one"

I may not be particularly experienced in this field, but a lot of the people here are and they'll surely correct me in this if I'm just mistaken, but I've never heard of a publisher that doesn't work with the author one-on-one. Hell, even PublishAmerica does (even if they do it badly).

#68 ::: Lanaia ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:59 PM:

I am sure many people ( especially in Europe, Scotland in particular) remember Hill and Hill Literary Agency, especially for being well known for their scams. Don't beleve me check out some Scottish newspapers. You know, I think every one should just stop and take a deep breath. Yes, I am guilty of listening to the advice of Christopher Hill, but that is the only mistake I made. I went back through old files I had saved and I have irrefutable proof, he coached me and did the ghost writing. I even have the receipts where I paid him for his services. My attorny told me because of the proof I have, I did no wrong and those that we to trash my name, well just hope you don't say anything bad about my publisher or I. My attorney is threatning to sue, because for once in my life, being a pack rat paid off.
LANAIA

#69 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:59 PM:

Oh, it gets better...

"lania" posted a poem that she says appears in On Atlantis:

"Lost so long ago, almost totally forgotten by mankind, almost lost to various chapters, of time, itself
The thought of something so magical, has no room in the rat race of man today
Through out all ancient societies, you will find reference to the amulet, and all it's magic and wealth
But something of this magnitude, has no place in the rushed life of mortal man today, as he works, as he plays"

...

God in heaven, there's so much more than the excerpt above. I tried reading further, but my teeth tried to wrap around my head & eat my brain.

#70 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:00 PM:

Leva, please pass the popcorn. Teresa, should I put this sixpack of Anchor Steam in the bathtub?

#71 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:03 PM:

My company charges a one time fee $50.00 to consult, lay-out and discuss the project. I set you up with a critique, an illustrator or poet if you wish, to do the project. When its done, we will find a contract for you, I mainly work with Roval Publishing.

#72 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:04 PM:

Permitting you for the sake of argument the existence of your attorney, Lanaia: You do know that the first thing a real attorney would tell you if they were actually going to file a lawsuit would be to shut up, right? So long as you keep your mouth running, no one's going to believe you're filing a lawsuit. At least, not with a real lawyer.

#73 ::: ed g. ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:06 PM:

#60: I got that, I wanted to know where the word [cartooney] came from.

'Cartooney' originated in the anti-spam community. It's a portmanteau of 'cartoon' + 'attorney'. Imagine that the person making the bogus legal threat is being represented by Wile E. Coyote, Esq.

#74 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:07 PM:
I set you up

A little nugget of truth.

#75 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:08 PM:

I want more hilarious ESL threats as much as the next person, but it does seem a bit unfair to go into a battle of wits with someone so obviously unarmed. I guess she preys on wheelchair-bound glory hounds, so she kindof deserves it...

I dunno, this is like watching two entirely different genres collide. The hopeless idiots a la Fargo meet the hardboiled Shakespearean PIs a la Chandler.

#76 ::: Lara ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:08 PM:

Lanaia, I hate to break it to you, but you were scammed TWICE, once by Christopher Hill and once by your so-called agent. Roval Publishing is a vanity press and will publish anything for a fee.

#77 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:11 PM:

Hi, Lanaia.

Did you or did you not say, in your YellBox on your webpage, "I have proof of my copt right and this work is totally mine. I guess some one wants a law suit"?

#78 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:13 PM:

True lawyers will ask you to keep quiet if the papers were filed, there not yet.

Roval Publishing is a self-publishing company that specializes in digital and there are no fees. You pay for the package you wish to have.

I do believe in the 3 fold, I haven't made an offical threat yet, just words for now.

My lawyer's are highly recommended and I wouldn't trade them for anyone or anything.

My writing is the Underworld, not Law.

#79 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:13 PM:

In response to post #71, I just got a bigger bucket of popcorn. So Cheryl charges a fee and mainly works with a pay to play pod publisher? Interesting.

(And I, too, keep reading "Roval" as "Ryoval." Which would be most appropriate.)

#80 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:14 PM:

Ed G, #12: BWAHAHAHA!

Plagiarist's Agent, #32: Words of wisdom from another thread: Letters from lawyers mean something. Letters about lawyers don't.

Oh, and threatening/casting malicious spells will get you in a LOT of trouble with the Goddess. Do you really think that's going to scare anyone here? Oh... I see that later on, you say you're not a witch. Well, that I'll believe, since you have already demonstrated that you know nothing about the faith except the Halloween urban legends.

Go back to playing with your wart-nosed paper doll.

#81 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:15 PM:

After looking at her website, I'm beginning to think that several people have taken advantage of a stroke victim. And not just the people she thinks have taken advantage of her.

It shouldn't surprise me that the vanity publishing and "author services" pros wouldn't hesitate to take a semi-coherent stroke victim's money. But it's sickening.

Seriously, Lanaia, if you're telling the truth about Hill & Hill, you need to take a good look at everyone who has taken your money to publish a book under your name. Your enemies are not the people on this web site.

#82 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:15 PM:

My writing is the Underworld, not Law.

Oh, that explains it: they don't give English classes in Hell.

Unless she meant she tortures the English language forever in a boiling lake of fire fire, in which case-- hey! Apt metaphor!

#83 ::: dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:16 PM:

Clueless, clueless, clueless.

A moment Googling your hosts here would be so informative. Then again...

#84 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:19 PM:

Reading over Cheryl at #78

Wow. You would have to have sentence by sentence amnesia for this:

Roval Publishing is a self-publishing company that specializes in digital and there are no fees. You pay for the package you wish to have.

to even remotely make sense.

Also, your lawyer's are highly recommended? Please do fill in the blank! I'm imagining all sorts of nouns after lawyer's -, but Mad Libs is only fun for so long.

#85 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:20 PM:

As for you, "agent" Cheryl:

True lawyers will ask you to keep quiet if the papers were filed, there not yet.
What sense does that make? If a lawsuit's going to be filed, they want you to shut up immediately. You are a shining example of why.
I do believe in the 3 fold, I haven't made an offical threat yet, just words for now.
Threats are "just words". What do you imagine an "official threat" is?

Do you imagine you are fooling anyone here? Anyone new?

#86 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:21 PM:

Underworld meaning I write about vampires, I also write mystery, sci-fi and I have children's series.

Research does the mind good. Good evening people.

#87 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:21 PM:

I think all you people queried Cheryl Pillsbury and/or Roval Publishing and got REJECTED and that's why you are bringing all this hate.

(Someone had to come along and say that, so I thought it might as well be me.)

#88 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:22 PM:

Lanaia, dear,

Could we talk meter for a minute? I see you've got ideas - the sine qua non of poetry - and you're using rhyme. ABAB is a good scheme (though you should perhaps rely more on similar sounds and less on using the same word twice over).

But what really walks a reader through the poem is the meter. It pulls them forward, gives the inner voice a rhythm. It lends momentum to the experience of reading a poem.

Wikipedia has some useful introductory articles on the subject. I'd suggest starting with this bit and then following the links to the various meters, particularly iambic pentameter.

Although it can seem daunting to write in a meter at first, you'll find the language naturally falls into the rhythm. And it helps you keep your line lengths even, which is generally considered a good trait.

#89 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:22 PM:

I just got a bigger bucket of popcorn.

Excellent. Things look like they are still warming up and I would hate for us to run out, particularly as we seem to have good seats. Care for a beer?

#90 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:23 PM:

Scraps, if you are going to be making lists, you might as well add that true agents don't charge fees.

#91 ::: Livia Llewellyn ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:23 PM:

Research does the mind good.

So do logic, common sense, and basic morals.

#92 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:23 PM:

In AD 2007, writing was beginning.

What happen?

Somebody set up us the critique!

#93 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:25 PM:

Yes they do and I'm a firmer believer in what I do and so do my friends. No one can ever change that.

#94 ::: Anna Pearson ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:25 PM:

Cheryl & Lanaia (or should i call you Mary, Lanaia?)

Do either of you have ANY remorse for an obvious theft? Whether or not Christopher Hill (yes i am aware of him.. i am as it happens Scottish) did write the offending words, you both should take some responsibility towards this.

Oh, out of interest, i do hope that the "proof" of Mr Hills involvement will be made apparent to Mr Gemmell's US agent (who, i am assured, is well versed in lawsuits and plagarism law)

I am a long time fan of David Gemmell, who attended his memorial service last October and with that time of year coming up again i can only think of the distress you are causing to Stella Gemmell (David's Window - in case you did not know that and i suspect that you did not.)

I really am quite disheartened that you are both too concerned with excuses and threats to actually put out a proper apology to Stella and the rest of his surviving family.

You should be ashamed of yourselves for being self-serving and grasping and you are both characters that David Gemmell certainly did NOT write about unless they came to a nasty end.

#95 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:26 PM:

True lawyers will ask you to keep quiet if the papers were filed, there not yet.

Wrong.

Roval Publishing is a self-publishing company that specializes in digital and there are no fees. You pay for the package you wish to have.

If they're self-publishing, why does she need an agent?

I do believe in the 3 fold, I haven't made an offical threat yet, just words for now.

So "True witches will keep quiet if the spell is cast, its [sic-by-parallel] not yet"?

My lawyer's are highly recommended and I wouldn't trade them for anyone or anything.

Names?

My writing is the Underworld, not Law.

It's obviously not the latter, and from the way some of our resident Wiccas/Pagans/etc. are jumping on you, I don't think it's the former, either.

#96 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:28 PM:

Yes, all parties have been informed of what took place and who set it up. We have placed the book on hold for a re-write so she can publish her book without anymore schandal and insults.

#97 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:29 PM:

Placed on hold, sorry, long day and night.

#98 ::: Anna Pearson ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:33 PM:

Cheryl

Still no words of concern for the family of David Gemmell?? It would be nice if you could clarify that there has been a conversation and you ARE attempting to remedy the situation properly.

#99 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:36 PM:

Lanaia #68:
I think I can accept that you were coached (and scammed) by Christopher Hill, but why then did he end up doing the actual writing? Why would a newbie writer (you) hire a ghost writer? Wouldn't you want to see your own work in a book with your own name on the cover?

#100 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:37 PM:
We have placed the book on hold for a re-write
Uh-huh. Like you can "rewrite" a plagiarized book.
#101 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:38 PM:

Cheryl:

Well, my lawyer demands that you contact him. I have been told that he will be more than happy to remove the potentially "slanderous" material that you claim I have made from the webpages in question.

However, my lawyer demands you clean his outdoor grill first. It is very dirty and has some kind of black junk all on the lid, and inside it, and on the rack and gummed up in the propane tanks.

He also demands you use Formula 409 brand cleaner and Billo pads, not "any o'that generic store brand junk" either.

My lawyer says he wants you to do so and comply "before this Saturday", because he's planning "a really important legal barbeque".

I will provide his contact details if you'd like.

#102 ::: Gag Halfrunt ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:45 PM:

At the risk of saying something extremely obvious, the purported Cheryl Pillsbury has given her email address as "fknight420@charter.net", which sounds more like an F. Knight than a C. Pillsbury, so I wonder if a troll is having some fun at our expense.

#103 ::: jmmcdermott ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:45 PM:

That website has lots and lots of articles and just... lots of written stuff on it. Has anyone checked any of these others for plagiarism?

http://www.alongstoryshort.net/Archives.html

Woof. I don't envy the lawyers that task.

#104 ::: Kalen Hughes ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:46 PM:
Yes they do and I'm a firmer [sic] believer in what I do and so do my friends.

No, they don't. Scammers can protest this all they want (and yes, you’re clearly a scam artist; agent who takes $ to hook up “writer” with self-publisher = scam artist), but the FIRST THING that you learn in this biz is that money flows FROM the agent to the author, not the other way round. Every PUBLISHED author knows this, which is why scammers like you prey on the weak, the hopeful, and the uninformed.

And we’re still waiting for the apology to Gemmell and his family.

#105 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:46 PM:

If it's a troll, it's got a good act.

#106 ::: Lyli ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:47 PM:

For an agent, that isn't a very professional address.

#107 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:48 PM:

F. Knight than a C. Pillsbury, so I wonder if a troll is having some fun at our expense.

Nope, a google search turns up that she's a former trekker and big Forever Knight fan.

#108 ::: Nix ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:49 PM:

@12, I'm not sure what horrible things Ryoval Publishing would get up to, but I'm fairly sure that they wouldn't be as unoriginal and, well, dull as blatant plagiarism. Say what you like about the dear departed imaginary Baron, he was certainly... inventive.

(That book is the only one of Bujold's I find physically hard to read. I guess it strikes close to home if you had a twin brother, even if he never had a chance to become as driven and somewhat loony as Mark.)

#110 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:49 PM:

I've done my due diligence: the Wikipedia page has been updated, in the blandest terms possible cause NPOV is a shy beastie and I didn't want to scare it off. Nor did I wish to suffer the tenfold wrath of someone who writes about witches!

#111 ::: tasha ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:50 PM:

#102, Cheryl Pillsbury used to write Forever Knight fanfiction.

You can find her work here, including links to her publishing site.

#112 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:50 PM:

(Personally, I think the Gemmel family is entitled to demand an apology, but none of us are entitled to demand one for them.)

#113 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:56 PM:

Lyli, at #62: we still haven't gotten an additional sock puppet, but we've gotten other things -- evident confusion between this blog and Dear Author, magickal threats, possibly magickal (at least invisible, though that could be done with technology, I suppose) lawyers, pleas to sympathy, a noticeable dearth of anything resembling repentance or apologies to David Gemmell's family in the recent comments from plaigiarist and agent, statements of blind support for friends and clients... will those do instead? Or should we hold out for another sock puppet?

#114 ::: Wendy ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:56 PM:

Victoria Straus just posted:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/10/victoria-strauss-christopher-hill-redux.html

It might not be Lanaia's doing...

#115 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:57 PM:

Lori Coulson @ 53: Oh, I suppose that most Wiccans in the U.S. haven't switched to the metric system yet. It can be much more convenient if you have people repeatedly harming each other in turn.

Our Esteemed Hosts, re: #68, and #s 32, 38, 46, etc. -- IP check, please?

#116 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:57 PM:

That Writer Beware link convinces me more of what I said earlier: I think that, whatever her poor behavior in reacting to all this, Lanaia is just a bad writer and a stroke victim who has been prey to an unusually shameless set of scammers. One of whom is posting here, and is to my mind far more contemptible than Lanaia. Conning the ignorant is one thing; conning stroke victims ought to be beneath anyone.

#117 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 06:57 PM:

Er... whoops! Undid previous wiki edit, readded to main page with reference to correct Gemmell book. I spellchecked but forgot to content check. :P

#118 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:02 PM:

I doubt any regular here thought otherwise, but as a lawyer myself (with all the standard disclaimers about not being licensed in states other than Michigan and not undertaking to give anyone legal advice), let me point about that absolutely no basis for a defamation action is presented by anything said here . . .

#119 ::: Anna Pearson ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:03 PM:

An apology was not demanded on behalf of the Gemmell family, however, it would be very nice to see one.

Since Mr Hill won't be making one, it's only right that one should come from Cheryl Pillsbury on Mary Kellis' behalf.

#120 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:04 PM:

We're getting to the point of Can't-Tell-The-Players-Without-A-Scorecard.

So:

We have Cheryl T. Pillsbury, Agent.

Cheryl is a fee-charger who has published her own work with:

A) XLibris Corporation, a pay-to-play vanity
B) PublishAmerica, a notorious vanity press
(twice!)
C) Outskirts Press

Who or what is Outskirts, you may ask? Yet another pay-to-play vanity press. Look ye at their main page:


The Future of Book Publishing is Here!

  • Keep all your rights and more of the profits
  • Set your own royalty and retail price
  • Interior formatting & cover design is included
  • Free marketing COACH after publication
  • Print runs from 1 to 1000s

Ms. Pillsbury's favorite, however, is Roval Publishing, another POD pay-to-play vanity.

One of Cheryl Pillsbury's clients is the next character in our cast: Lanaia Lee.

Lanaia is not only an author, but a poet. And Cheryl seems to be not only Lanaia's agent, but co-author. Note that Lanaia's poetry allegedly appears in at least one of Cheryl's Angus Grady books.

There's more: A G Press, owned by Cheryl Pillsbury, appears to be involved in some manner in preparing Lanaia's forthcoming (yet oddly familiar)Of Atlantis for Roval Publishing.

I will make sure they know about this and dear Jane will have nightmares in 10 fold. Yes, I'm Wicca. says Cheryl.

Later, Cheryl says "I'm not a witch per say, [sic]...."

I do wish she'd make up her mind.

Lanaia has a witchcraft connection:

Her grandmother, a self-professed black witch, raised Lanaia after her mother died when she was eight years old.


Lanaia, who is apparently referred to as "Mary" by her agent, claims that she didn't plagiarize Dark Prince by David Gemmell, because she paid someone else to write her book. That someone else is allegedly Christopher Hill.

Christopher Hill, current whereabouts unknown, is/was a fee-charging literary agent who (depending on when you asked and who you asked) either lived in luxury in Spain or in a Council flat outside Edinburgh. Mr. Hill (and a number of other people who may have been his sockpuppets who appeared on messageboards to defend him) engaged in assorted frauds, including telling various of his clients that they had gotten major contracts with major American publishers. Whether he also engaged in ghostwriting, I know not.

I'm sure that whatever it was he handed to Lanaia, said Lanaia would have been aware that she, personally, hadn't written the material that appeared under her byline.

Which brings us all back to Jane Little, currently laboring under a ten-fold curse, who, while she may not have broken the story, certainly had fun with it.

#121 ::: ghost ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:05 PM:

To think that poor woman paid C. Hill four hundred a month...and this is what she got in return.

Thanks for the link, Victoria.

#122 ::: tasha ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:06 PM:

Much as it pains me, I feel compelled to point out that she did say: I apologize to Mr. Hemmel's memory and his family on her message board earlier.

#123 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:09 PM:

If memory servers, Christopher Hill makes many of the same grammar errors as Cheryl Pillsbury, though I seem to remember slightly fewer typos and misspellings. For what it's worth.

#124 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:12 PM:

If I am reading Victoria Strauss correctly, it is not out of the question that Hill rewrote stuff that was originally Lanaia's, then stuck the first chapter of the Gemmell book on the front, with Lanaia's characters. Lanaia sounds ignorant enough of real publishing -- abetted by people like her "agent" to sincerely believe that the writing was "hers" by all regular publishing standards. That's not much of a defense, but I repeat that if she's a stroke victim -- and I think her prose lends credence to that -- well, she's at worst a tool of much worse people.

#125 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:12 PM:

Memory serves, even. There is a natural law of the universe that one cannot point out someone else's misspelling without making a spelling booboo oneself.

#126 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:22 PM:

What sort of legal recourse does she have? I am a wee bit unsympathetic, I'll admit. Her actions since this blew out of the water, or I should say the actions made in her name, have been damning to her reputation and her credibility. But if this is the case what sort of legal action might she face and what sort might she be able to bring ?out?... My brain just fizzled and I can't think of the correct term there.

I also posted this over at Ms. Strauss blog

#127 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:24 PM:

Aww, I got reverted. It hasn't happened until Reuters says so.

#128 ::: Lyli ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:27 PM:

Velma @ #113. I think it makes up for the lack of extra sock puppets.

#129 ::: Daybert ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:32 PM:

Cheryl Pillsbury wrote:

Underworld meaning I write about vampires, I also write mystery, sci-fi and I have children's series.

You said you had children's series. Is that some kind of disease? I need enlightment!

#130 ::: Nix ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:38 PM:

This thread just got me a visit from the police.

That is to say, a neighbourhood cop was walking past and heard these bizarre sounds from inside and knocked on the door to find out if I was all right.

Well, she was sort of right: I *was* choking. With laughter. I don't think I've read anything so amusing in years.

(Ms. Pillsbury's grammar and general coherence are truly *remarkable*. I'm not sure whether to consider this whole affair pitiable, despicable, or awe-inspiring, so I'm just settling for utterly hilarious.)

#131 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:42 PM:

My take is the same as Scraps' take.

It's probably worth everyone reading Victoria's account. Ms. Lee, at least, may have been the victim in this particular case. I'm inclined to have some compassion--or at least to withhold hostility--for her, and to save that for the real scammers in this case. (And yes, I agree there's more than one.)

#132 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:42 PM:

I want to thank you all for this afternoon's amusement.


#133 ::: Christine ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:46 PM:

Dear Dog. What a fiasco. See, now if it were me, I'd be shocked and horrified and outraged when I realized what my ghostwriter had done. Of course, I might have googled the opening line, just to be sure. Then again, maybe not.

I wouldn't be defensive and throwing around baseless threats of legal action. Apparently Cheryl went to the PA/BB school of law. Dragoons!

It's really such a shame to see two people so obviously clueless about publishing trying to have an argument with those who do.

Really, Cheryl... Xlibris AND PA??? And you really think you know about publishing?? You take MONEY from people to hook them up with vanity presses?

I'm sure we'll be seeing your name on one of Victoria and Ann's list in the near future.

And don't threaten people with magic. It makes you look foolish, and tells those of us who know how to use it properly that you...don't. Or else you'd never even consider such a thing for fear of it whiplashing back on you. Times three. Believe me, you don't want that.

#134 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:47 PM:

For people who throw stones at glasses houses should be very cautious about speaking before they know the truth.

The cliche is "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". It means "If you have a problem, you shouldn't point out that other people have the same problem"; it has nothing to do with shaky claims, which I believe is what you're alleging here. As far as I know no one at Making Light has ever been accused of plagarism.


...dear Jane will have nightmares in 10 fold.

Who the heck is Jane?

Yes, I'm Wicca.

If so, you should know that 1)it's threefold, not tenfold and 2)making threats of magical attack is a big ol' no-no.

I was just informed, the author has already set the motions for the lawsuit, be prepared.

"Oooooh, I'm so scared." Name! That! Quote!

You were told by the lawyer not to post anything related to this issue, first amendement does not apply.

Situations in which the First Amendment does not apply are few and far between, and this is assuredly not one of them. You may with to read up.

I have made a copy of this site for proof,

No need; it's not going anywhere.

Have a ducky day.

Dude, you just have to wonder. I doubt she's got the capacity for that much sarcasm, which implies that it's just something she appends to everything...

#135 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:49 PM:

Shadowsong @ 127... Aww, I got reverted

You fell inside an Evolving Machine stuck in reverse?

#136 ::: Nix ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:51 PM:

Bloody hell. Way to cure fits of hilarity.

I've just read Victoria Strauss's post. This is awful, if she's right and this is a severely disabled woman being conned.

The whole thing reeks of desperation, to some extent on Lanaia's part (which is entirely forgiveable) and much more on Hill's (which is not).

An entire fake manuscript is probably more work than even a forger as prolific as Hill would normally be expected to do. I can almost see Hill sitting there, this subset of his scam threatening to fall apart around him, desperately cobbling together anything he can lay his hands on now that his mark has demanded proof that he'd been doing something useful.

(I still wonder why Hill does what he does. It sounds like it's much more work than actually doing the job he's pretending to do would be. Maybe this too is a sign of desperation: he started out with a quick scam, got deeper, and by the time the work mounted to the degree that it would be easier to do the job honestly, everybody in the field knew who he was, so he had no *choice* but to be dishonest: there's no way real publishers would give him the time of day, or believe claims of honesty even if they were true. Just a guess...)

#137 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:52 PM:

Serge @ 135: Exactly. I need to be careful; I fear my opposable thumbs may be the next to go.

(Don't mind me, I've been looking at cute polydactyl kitties. I have "opposable thumbs" and "teaching cats to use matches" on the brain.)

#138 ::: Jane ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 07:57 PM:

Here's what happened:

I received an email granting me the honor of doing an interview with the author. A sample interview was included as well as a link to the work so I could see for myself her work. I emailed a fantasy author, Ilona Andrew, and she came back within five minutes saying this was Gemmell’s work. So we should all thank Ilona. She then posted at Gemmell's fan forum - Legend Readers.

I held off posting about the plagiarism issue. I emailed the Mary/Lanaia and received emails back from her and the agent to see if they wanted to retract the claims they were making on the website. The author claimed “If Atlantis” (instead of “Of Atlantis”) was her own work; she made threatening legal noises and so did her agent. So I posted.

I await the suit papers and the boils. Will keep you all posted on both accounts.

My sympathy for the author isn't very high because she is trying to pass off someone else's work (ie. the ghostwriter) as her unique voice; as the voice of her heart which seems pretty dishonest to me.

Anyway, I had to get permission from Ilona Andrew to tell how I found out and she acquiesced after some pressure.

#139 ::: Lanaia ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:02 PM:

Keep em' coming, you bettter be very afraid, jane as an sdult I thought you would throughly reasearch, well you heard Victoria Strass, she knowa!
Lanaik

#140 ::: Daybert ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:05 PM:

This is from Linaia's bio:

"I write because I feel each person has something unique to share with the world and writing is my gift to share"

Are you freaking kidding??? You actually write? Wow, I'm surprised you'd say that since the notion has become rather doubtful over the course of the last hours. And what is it that you have to "share with the world"? Your stupidity? Please save it!

It's completely amusing how you could say "writing is my gift to share." Is it, really? In that case, your writing is rather boring and monotonous, for it reads:

Ctrl C + Ctrl V + Ctrl C + Crtl V...

Good luck with that!

#141 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:07 PM:

shadowsong @ 137... I take it you've lost your sixth finger by now. Don't stay inside the Machine too long or you'll revert to the Dubya level.

#142 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:08 PM:

Here's a screenshot of Lanaia's apology to Mr. Gemmell and his family.

Next, I note that Lanaia makes a lot of errors with adjacent letters on the keyboard that fall between the right and left hands (G/H, T/Y).


#143 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:14 PM:

Lori, #28, those are the two most common types of strokes. I had a watershed infarct (not my brain) which happens when you don't get blood to your brain for a while. Mine was caused by being given nifedipine sublingually while in the hospital and it dropped my BP so low so fast that parts of my brain died from lack of oxygen.

#144 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:17 PM:

Oy vey, those folks should be quarantined as a danger to the public... after all, the stupid might be catching!

It does give me an idea for an amusing short-story opening, but this might well have been used already:

Start it off with the first few lines of some really classic, memorable opening, then just as the reader recognizes it, the paragraph breaks to:

WHAP! The pages of the manuscript scattered down the wall. "Darn, that didn't even make a decent bang."

and go on with your story featuring an editor as protagonist....

#145 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:23 PM:

You know, guys, I've had three strokes, including the big one that came with a coma. I was probably smarter than Mary to start with, but I'm not a "stroke victim" as the later posts mean. Not everybody loses all sense when they have strokes. I can't account for her miscarriages.

#146 ::: Jane ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:26 PM:

Crap. Andrews. Ilona Andrews.

#147 ::: Daybert ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:28 PM:

Lanaia # 139

Keep em' coming, you bettter be very afraid, jane as an sdult I thought you would throughly reasearch, well you heard Victoria Strass, she knowa!
Lanaik

Stop making fun of yourself, Lanaia. How you can say you're a writer if you can't proof-read what you write? You're pathetic.

#148 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:29 PM:

I brought brownies...

I feel like I should feel sorry for someone -- the Gemmell family, I suppose -- but I'm laughing too hard. Woo, these people are silly. You say money changed hands here?

#149 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:40 PM:

But, daaammnnn. I do seem to miss all the fun.

#150 ::: PixelFish ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:44 PM:

Count me in as another Bujold fan who keeps seeing Ryoval Publishing.

While I have a small modicum of sympathy for Ms. Lee, who seems to have been doubly scammed, I have none for her agent.

I DO have much sympathy for the poor, abused commas forced to dress in drag as periods. Or maybe it's the other way round. Either way, "Agent" Pillsbury's approach to punctuation reminds me of this quote from Terry Pratchett's Jingo: There may be a lot of things I'm not good at, thought Vimes, but at least I don't treat the punctuation of a sentence like a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey...

#151 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:45 PM:

Yep, it looks like money changed hands. From Lanaia to Cheryl, and from Lanaia to Christopher Hill, and from Lanaia to Roval.


What's wrong with that picture?

#152 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 08:59 PM:

I've done some stupid things in my life. One of the things I learned early on about the enterprise of doing stupid things is that you really have no choice but to own up to them when you get called on having done them.

What's the big deal? Everybody does stupid things in their lives. The only unforgivable thing about having done them is trying to lie about them and get all aggressive about them afterward. I just don't see how people can be so stupid about something like this.

You can't be forgiven for half-assed things you make up so you can ask to be forgiven for them in lieu of owning up to the actual stupid thing you did. People aren't that stupid. I guess people somehow forget they are dealing with people in these situations. People know people, better than anybody does. Nobody falls for it.

Just give it up. Just say "I did an idiot thing. Here's the exact idiot thing I did. I did an even more idiot thing in trying to make you think I didn't do the idiot thing in the first place. I'm sorry."

If you mean it, if you say it sincerely (remember: people know people so you won't fool anybody if you try to bullshit them), you will be shocked, appalled even, at how quickly you are forgiven.

#153 ::: Zeborah ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 09:02 PM:

Cheryl@78 wrote: "My lawyer's are highly recommended and I wouldn't trade them for anyone or anything."

Uh. Lanaia, if you're still around - are you paying money to any lawyer who's been recommended by Cheryl? I really think you're better off getting your own lawyer who's got nothing to do with Hill, Roval, or Cheryl, or anyone else who's ever asked you for money to help publish your book.

#154 ::: DB ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 09:09 PM:

It is awfully convenient, though, that the one person the author is pointing her finger at cannot be located, and therefore, cannot be expected to rise to his own defense. How very tidy.

#155 ::: jmmcdermott ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 09:13 PM:

Just a note about the stroke issue.

I am not a medical professional. I am not qualified to judge whether this woman actually had a debilitating stroke or not, or whether this particular stroke had anything to do with her judgment (or lack thereof).

Whether it is used as an excuse or not, it is not something I feel worthy of further discussion without more and better documentation.

Others will likely disagree, but that's my buck-fifty.

#156 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 09:13 PM:

If I'm reading Victoria right, Lanaia paid Christopher Hill $400/month for two years to ghost-write her book.

That works out to nearly $10K.

For less than half of that she could have had a real book written by a real writer, and it wouldn't have taken any two years to get it, either.

The two biggest villains I see in this piece are Cheryl and Christopher. Roval is just a bush-league POD/vanity, no more or less honest than any of a thousand others just like it.

Lanaia -- I think there's a problem with the way she sees the world, but with guides like Cheryl and Christopher there wasn't much chance of her ever finding out anything about writing or publishing. It isn't beyond the realm of belief that Cheryl was playing witchie-poo headgames on Lanaia the whole time.

Other subjects: miscarriages and stroke can both be related to hypertension. Lanaia's disability from the stroke would be directly related to what part(s) of her brain were affected. We know there's some motor dysfunction. I wouldn't be at all surprised by some cognitive or emotional issues.

#157 ::: Shelly ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 09:18 PM:

jane as an sdult I thought you would throughly reasearch, well you heard Victoria Strass, she knowa!
Lanaik


My dear, you're hardly one who should be admonishing anyone about a lack of research when you can't even bother to research the text found within your own book.

#158 ::: steve ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 09:48 PM:

So either she did it, and is trying her best to cover it up with a well known ghost writer (unlikely as the Victoria Strauss article does lend credit to her defense), or she payed $400 per month to an individual whom she knew was a conman/scammer and still had the audacity to deny it after being caught. She then removes comments from her site but not the offending material? Nothing she or her agent have done since this came to light warrants any kind of sympathy at all.

Also, is #139 really Lanaia (unsure of the spelling, as it seems the posts author is as well)?

#159 ::: steve ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 09:52 PM:

Sorry I was supposed to type well known conman, not ghostwriter.

#160 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 09:54 PM:

The IP numbers for all the "Lanaia" posts are consistent with one another. The IP numbers for all the "Cheryl Pillsbury" posts are consistent with one another. They come from two different ISPs.

Not that that proves anything.

The whole thing is weird.

A suggestion has been raised elsewhere that perhaps the Scottish tabloids might be interested in the story of a local scammer taking a disabled woman for $400 a month and giving her a plagiarized book in return.

#161 ::: steve ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 10:06 PM:

Ah, was just curious, as it seemed an even nastier read than the others. Painful to read, although this time of the morning doesn't help with it. Everything worth being said has already been so though so off to bed with me.

#162 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 10:07 PM:

DB (comment 154), did you read Victoria Strauss's post? The evidence presented there is more than just Lanaia Lee pointing her finger at someone who can't be located.

Marilee, I certainly did not mean to paint any broad picture of stroke sufferers, and I very much apologize if it came across that way.

#163 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 10:27 PM:

Marilee @143 (and very much tangential to topic)

That site you linked with the brain slices has just absorbed over half an hour of time I should have spent sleeping.

Thanks!

(Braiiiiiinnnnzzzz....)

#164 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 10:53 PM:

A realise this is entirely beside the main point, but I feel it needs to be picked up:

Dorothy Rothschild @ #16 writes (about a different plagiarism case) I have to say that while I understand the logic of properly citing your own work, it does seem odd to be accused of plagiarizing yourself.

I don't see anything in the linked article that says he was accused of plagiarizing from himself. The phrase "accused of plagiarizing parts of his 1984 doctoral dissertation" is admittedly ambiguous, but the details provided make it clear that what is meant is that parts of the dissertation were created by plagiarizing from others.


Now, back to your regular (regular? it's like clockwork, lately) entertainment...

#165 ::: Renee ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 11:43 PM:

I noticed the "400 dollars a month for two years" fee C. Hill got, just like Mr. Macdonald. That's a nice chunk of change--but it isn't enough to live on.

Is L. Lee the only client Hill had during that time? Is 'Of Atlantis' the only book that will appear from Hill's ghostly fingers? Or will other wistful wannabes eventually pop up with 'manuscripts' manufactured from filched first chapters and identical (or nearly identical, given name changes) hind ends?

If I were this kind of plagiarist, I wouldn't want to spend two years of my time for a measly 400 bucks a month--US dollars or otherwise. But for 400 a month x 10 clients--okay.

(R. takes her cynical self and stuffs it back under her rock.)

#166 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 11:51 PM:

PixelFish, #150: Yeah, now I can't read it any other way. Ed, that was the equivalent of a really compelling earworm!

#167 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 11:54 PM:

There was a news story recently about some guy who went into a supermarket and tried to get change for a $1,000,000 dollar bill. When the store refused to cash it, and also refused to give him back his very obviously counterfeit money, he became angry and started breaking stuff.

I see very little difference between that guy (who was apparently dumb enough to believe the bill was real) and Lanaia (who was dumb enough to pay a "ghostwriter" she'd already been told was a scam artist and an "agent" who is nearly illiterate to publish a novel she knew she didn't write and probably didn't even read.) In both cases they were victims of a con, yes, but it was their own greed, dishonesty, and stupidity that led them there.

#168 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 11:55 PM:

Wandering in after a long day...I hardly know whether to weep or giggle. Probably both. I think Victoria's right and Laiana (?) has been taken by Hill, Pillsbury, and who the hell knows what else.

I feel awful for Gemmel's family; this is hardly what they need to be dealing with...

#169 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 11:56 PM:

I just love the bit at #71 where Cheryl actually admits - up front and unblushing - to being a scam agent. Think of it: she's persuaded some number of deeply clueless people to pay her to send their work to a vanity press that then charges them to print it. This is a cottage-industry scam as perennial as dust bunnies, but Cheryl has been bottom-feeding for so long that she's forgotten that there is such a thing as real publishing.

But that's not all, no, no, wait, there's more! Some subset of those deeply clueless people pay someone else to write the work in the first place, and then claim that it's their own. Well, it is, isn't it? They bought it, didn't they? Paid down good money for it, too!

Oh dear, oh dear. Why do all the really cool things happen while I'm asleep? Twelve hours time difference will do that to you...

Claude, I'll take that beer, and thank you. Have one of these prawns, straight off the barbie.

#170 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 11:58 PM:

Slander can cause a major lawsuit from the author and the publisher mentioned, because I will make sure they know about this and dear Jane will have nightmares in 10 fold. Yes, I'm Wicca.

Cheryl? "Wicca" is the noun. "Wiccan" is the verb. You are not Wicca any more than that one soldier ant was the colony.

(Which movie was that? I get them confused. Antz or the other one? I think it was Antz.)

As for threatening Dear Jane with nightmare hexes, you've already been told several times on this page that such action falls way outside the ethical constraints of Wicca. I've known some witches to content themselves with putting photos of nasty people in the freezer, though.

(My delight in Making Light renews--yes, even "tenfold"--as its denizens trounce Cheryl equally for lawyer-cartooney, for being a fee-charging agent, and for inappropriate use of religion.)

#171 ::: Matt Stevens ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 12:00 AM:

I'm sorry I came too late to read this thread from the beginning, but...

Is this woman saying she hired a ghost writer to pen a novel for a vanity publisher? Or have I misread something?

If so it's horribly sad, like hiring a models to stand in for you in your wedding photos.

#172 ::: CommunityRadioVet ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 12:10 AM:

Damn, and I missed out on all this today?

Where is my popcorn? My soda? My soundtrack?

They can't make movies this good...

(munch, munch, munch....)

#173 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 12:24 AM:

"Cartooney" comes from news.admin.net-abuse.email. It's a cartoon of a lawsuite (spelling from the same source).

A real lawyer wouldn't advise a client to shut up until the papers are filed. A real lawyer would advise a client to shut up until the judge decides how much they'll get (and even longer, if there might be an appeal).

The ratio of lawsuits threatened on the Internet to those actually filed is approximately infinity to three.

#174 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:01 AM:

Is it okay to wear spats and a silk cravat with a law suit? It is after Labor Day and all . . .

#175 ::: Elyse Grasso ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:03 AM:

Seth @ 173:
The ratio of lawsuits threatened on the Internet to those actually filed is approximately infinity to three.

That deserves to be a button or a sig or both.

#176 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:00 AM:

Nicole@170--Actually, "Wiccan" is both an adjective and a noun...but not a verb.

/pedantry

Plagiarism, scam agents, pay-to-publish...egad, this whole situation leaves me shaking my head in wonder...

#177 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:09 AM:

Syd, you are correct. Your pedantry is appreciated. (Man, I hate it when I sabotage myself with this sort of thing.) What I should have said was, "Wicca is the religion; 'Wiccan' is the word describing a practitioner of the religion. You, madam, are not my religion, and you're probably not of it, either."

But speaking of Wicca, the "infinity to three" ratio of lawsuits threatened to lawsuits actually filed sounds weirdly consonant with the whole "threefold law" subthread. Hee.

#178 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:33 AM:

wrt the Mary/Lanaia names, the blurb here (posted back on June 17th) begins, "My name is Mary Kellis pen name Lanaia Lee. I have a series of books, known as Of Atlantis, possibly the next Harry Potter, according to my literary agent."

*speechless*

#179 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:41 AM:

It seems to be a characteristic of the scam artist that they believe money and contracts wash away all sin.

In this they seem to be like many otherwise reputable large businesses that might be pointed to as examples of the sociopathic tendency in corporate governance.

The world is filled with liars, even the politicians are outsourcing the process, and, at times, honesty seems futile.

#180 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 05:12 AM:

I am now tempted to write a short story set in the publishing business, in a world where magic exists. After all, it stands to reason that, when you plagiarise a spell, you'll get worse things than writs coming through your door.

(That's why pirate editions are called pirate editions. They're printed on board ships at sea, in order to protect them from hexes, which have difficulty crossing water...)

#181 ::: martyn44 ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 05:50 AM:

I do something wrong - in this case, plagiarise a writer whose shoes I am not fit to lick. I get caught out. I say, no, it was my agent (ie person employed to do something for me, NOT my 'literary agent')

And that makes it okay?

Er, no. A principal is legally responsible for their agent's acts if they are within the terms of the contract.

The buck stops with you, Lainia, whatever your state of health.

#182 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:13 AM:

ajay:

That's why pirate editions are called pirate editions. They're printed on board ships at sea, in order to protect them from hexes, which have difficulty crossing water...

If you include barefoot sales agents (because the sales system for books is subscription-based as Twain described) so that spells thrown at them will be earthed harmlessly and a protagonist who loses a finger...well, it would be closer to the theme of the thread wouldn't it?

(Actually, it sounds like lots and lots of fun!)

#183 ::: Dorothy Rothschild ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:41 AM:

Paul A @ 164 - while the article itself never directly states that copying his own thesis is plagiarism, the headers do: 'Poshard Faces New Plagiarism Allegations / Report Says SIU President Copied Parts Of Master's Thesis'. Given that this connection *isn't* played up in the article, it may be a case of 'let's use the word that gets attention rather than something more accurate that isn't as jazzy'; however, they're selling this article as a) more alleged plagiarism through b) copying [his own] master's thesis.

#184 ::: Jakob ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:47 AM:

Dorothy Rothschild: I thought the piece was saying that he'd plagarised parts of both his master's thesis and his PhD.

#185 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:53 AM:

182: Ah, here I suffer from not actually having read any David Gemmell.

Naturally, in this world, the agents take a percentage of more than just your earnings. And the dividing line between the professions of "editor" and "exorcist" can, occasionally, get a little blurry.
Working title: "Mis-spelled".

#186 ::: Jen Birren ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:09 AM:

It is possible to plagiarise your own work; a PhD is supposed to be an original bit of research, so if you don't bother do do any more research and fill it up with what you've done for your Masters, that's plagiarism. Drawing on stuff you've already done is absolutely fine if you make it clear that that's what you're doing, of course, quoting and referencing it in the normal way.

#187 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:19 AM:

Ye gods and small fishes.

Abi having given advice on writing poetry, I can do no more than take a line of Cheryl's as an example of how it might be done(since it happens to be in iambic pentameter, through no fault of her own).


I haven't any sense, but I can jaw
as well as any idiot out here --
my writing is the Underworld, not law.

My spelling's bad, you try it with a claw,
but writing is to me the thing most dear;
I haven't any sense, but I can jaw.

I have no dog, yet I am a cat's paw,
and now you have me weeping in my beer:
my writing is the Underworld, not law.

You are such beasts, my nerves are now quite raw
and I am feeling very odd and queer --
I haven't any sense, but I can jaw.

The words keep sticking in my witchy craw,
I'm trying to behave stern and austere,
my writing is the Underworld, not law.

My feelings have been rubbed completely raw,
you people set my mind all out of gear.
I haven't any sense, but I can jaw;
my writing is the Underworld, not law.

#188 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:28 AM:

A Formal Apology:
We apologize for the pain this situation has caused. We were unaware of it until yesterday, 10/11/07. The book has been placed on hold for a re-write.
I'm a Trekkie, not a Trekker, yes, I write Forever Knight stories and yes I'm a fan of the show.
The blame for this should be on Mr. Hill, Lanaia is an innocent pawn in this disaster, it was brought to my attention and we took action. But people seem to enjoy slamming people with hurtful insults instead of giving the person a chance to research and solve the issue. If we could find this Mr. Hill, he would be a hurting puppy and Jane Little is no better. She was informed not to post, so her and James did, this could do some serious damage when this is solved and how can you take back the hurtful words that were said. I thought we were innocent before guilty. Now you know why I prefer the Underworld then this world. It's amazing on how people never learn or grow up and don't use conversation as a tool to solve things without throwing nasty words at each other.

#189 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:34 AM:

#170 "(Which movie was that? I get them confused. Antz or the other one? I think it was Antz.)"

I think you do mean Antz, the other one was A Bug's Life and didn't have a noticable soldier caste.

#190 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:41 AM:

Fragano @187:
Nice. But not the line that inspired me.

I woke this morning, and I found a duck
Asleep beside me in the tousled bed.
I sat up, feeling something on my head,
And reached to touch it, shouting, "What on earth?"*
My toothpaste was all feathers, and my soap
Left slimy pond-weed trailing from my hands.
I got no toast - the quacking bread demands
Were just too much. I simply couldn't cope.
My trip to work was very much a trip -
I stumbled over drakes and stepped on hens.
They shat on papers, shed on all my pens,
While ducklings drank my coffee, every sip.
And worse - it's nine more days till they're away:
The tenfold curse of "Have a ducky day!"

-----
* well, something like it, anyway

#191 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:44 AM:

ajay @ 185... the dividing line between the professions of "editor" and "exorcist" can, occasionally, get a little blurry

Teresa waves her hand, a loud sound of thunder reverberates throughout the fluorosphere, and nothing is left of ajay but a spot of soot on the floor and a puff of smoke slowly drifting upward.

#192 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:47 AM:

Abi @ 190... I found a duck Asleep beside me in the tousled bed

I shall pond-er what that means. Or maybe I should call Duck Freud, since Poulet Froid is busy with another patient.

#193 ::: Jeffrey Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:04 AM:

Saying it's everybody else's fault rarely counts as A Formal Apology.

#194 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:10 AM:

Abi #190: Wonderful! You could, however, change 'What on earth?' to 'What the heck?'

#195 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:11 AM:

Fragano, your poem at 187 has made my morning.

Cheryl, just as a data point: real apologies don't come with incoherent attacks on and threats to other people. Nor do they come in the passive form -- "the pain this situation has caused" -- as if it had come mysteriously out of the ether, not caused by anyone specific.

But could you be specific? What, precisely, are you apologizing for? Your words could be an apology for the sudden rain yesterday that caused mud to stain the hem of my skirt, or for Jim getting a full sour, rather than a garlic dill, with his sandwich. There's no responsibility for anything specific in it, and that makes me curious.

#196 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:14 AM:

Fragano @194:
You're right, though anything so completely clunky that the reader stops and realises what I didn't say will do.

#197 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:19 AM:

Fragano, your poem at 187 has made my morning.

Cheryl, just as a data point: real apologies don't come with incoherent attacks on and threats to other people. Nor do they come in the passive form -- "the pain this situation has caused" -- as if it had come mysteriously out of the ether, not caused by anyone specific.

But could you be specific? What, precisely, are you apologizing for? Your words could be an apology for the sudden rain yesterday that caused mud to stain the hem of my skirt, or for Jim getting a full sour, rather than a garlic dill, with his sandwich. There's no responsibility for anything specific in it, and that makes me curious.

#198 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:21 AM:

I have apologized, I have pulled the book until its resolved, sorry I can't get Mr. Hill out of my head, considering that's where it started and I have written proof. There's nothing left that I can do, I'm truly sorry this happened, but I see no apologies for the nasty name calling. I don't know what else I can do.

#199 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:22 AM:

(How did my comment post twice? And where can I get a garlic dill at this hour?)

#200 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:43 AM:

I want a pickle! Where are they giving out the pickles?

#201 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:52 AM:

Full many a glorious morning have I seen...

but few that have started with me laughing so hard and wincing so thoroughly before 9 am...

#202 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:10 AM:

Ref. 179: It's been my experience that scam artists use contracts quite often to intimidate their victims and make it appear that the law is on the side of the scam artist, thus improving the scam artist's odds of getting away with the fraud.

Ref. 188: Cheryl, presumption of innocence is only applicable in a court of law, not in a court of public opinion. The public is free to presume what it wants. Likewise, folks are free to ignore your demands that they not post. Consequently, because you tried to squelch public comment instead of disclosing the facts, you immediately took on the appearance of guilt. You've only yourself to blame for that.

#203 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:22 AM:

- Plagia Rising -

A trilogy of magic, sorcery, and witchcraft!

By Mark Mitchell

Chapter 1.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a golden child sitting alone is in want of dead father. Pip Steerpike von Huckelberry sat in the doorway wondering why every happy family was alike while every unhappy family was unhappy in its own way. Aunt Polly came out of the top turret of the castle Gormenghast, surrounded by her endless coterie of mulling white elephants, yelling as was her wont: "PIP! YOU PIIIIIPP" she would be at it all day he reflected.
Lazily the young prince got up, and ambled down the stairs, scuffing his bejewelled slippers as he walked. He whistled a tune that was all the rage. It was not very many days since his father had given him some useful advice that he'd been turning over in his mind ever since, that advice being "If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, make an ugly woman your wife." The old man's lot of happiness was just about run out though, and the old girl was not so bad as all that. Pip wasn't above patricide and matrimony in the service of naked ambition, he'd long ago decided he would turn out the villain of his own life and be damn proud of it.


#204 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:25 AM:

It seems increasingly likely that I really will undertake the enterprise that has been preoccupying my imagination for some time, namely to become the foremost living plagiarist of my generation!

#205 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:25 AM:

Ollie: "Well! This is a pretty pickle you've gotten us into."

Stan (crying): "I'm sorry, Ollie, they were out of dill."

#206 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:28 AM:

Velma #195/197: Thank you!

#207 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:29 AM:

naw, I'm just joshing you, I already began that long time ago. Y'all will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which y'all have regarded with such evil forebodings.

#208 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:30 AM:

bryan @ 203

A neat mashup of genres you've got there; even erotica. 'Naked ambition' indeed; as we all know Ambition's a whore, and kings and whores are the stuff of great literature (and occasional rebellions).

#209 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:31 AM:

Abi #196: You're absolutely right.

#210 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:36 AM:

Well I figured it was a good time to write about naked ambition given that this is afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I'm lying in bed with my catamite. I certainly hope that beastly Ali doesn't come in, or that horrible old archbishop show up to see me.

#211 ::: green_knight ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:36 AM:

Cheryl @ 188 said it all (I've corrected the punctuation)

We were innocent before, guilty now.

#212 ::: Nora Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:36 AM:

Can lurk no longer.

Pillsbury claims Jane Little, who posted the excerpt and the original work to open discussion on plagiarism, is as bad as the man she claims did the plagiarizing and scammed her and her client.

This is a weird sense of the wacky.

#213 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:37 AM:

LOLCatamite!

#214 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:38 AM:

bryan #203: Very nice. I like the calypso touch.

#215 ::: Wyn ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:56 AM:

Cheryl, what about giving Mr. Hill the curse you carelessly handed out to the rest of us? Or, um...lawsuit. Yeah Yeah, a LAWSUIT has possibilities here.

You and your so-called author are a joke. You are less professional than my preschooler, who has a better grasp of grammar and typing. Your author, who had the book she toiled over for years ghost written, is about as professional as my preschooler.

You both deserve each other. Now go away and let the real authors, editors, and agents work.

David Gemmel's family deserves a real apology.

#216 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 10:00 AM:

Why did the old man have to die? No reason, because it was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. He could see by his watch, without taking his hand from the left grip of the stairwell that gyred the central staircase, that it was actually eight-thirty in the morning.

He boiled at the inefficiencies of his ancestral home. This very lack of punctuality was as good excuse as any to kill his old dad, the bugger. So yeah, that was it. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen - not on time. Fuck the world, and fuck it now.

#217 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 10:31 AM:

bryan

You can think of it as creating inhabitants of a new virtual world: Second Hand.

#218 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 10:33 AM:

Cheryl Pillsbury @188:It's amazing on how people never learn or grow up and don't use conversation as a tool to solve things without throwing nasty words at each other.

At first, I found the lack of self-awareness needed to write this sentence astounding. Her first comment on this thread consisted of vague threats of legal action and magic.

However, on reconsideration, perhaps this is really an admission on her part. Perhaps she's really making a statement about herself, showing great self-awareness. (The flamer bingo worthy statement would have had "some people" rather than just "people" after all.)

She still charges her writers for her representation. That makes her not the best choice of agent one can make. But, at least, she realizes how she uses language.

#219 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 10:33 AM:

bryan @ 213

Goes with the dinosaurs.

#220 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 10:44 AM:

Joel Polowin @115: Aha, metric multi-fold returns! Seems I'm very behind the times.

Marilee @143: Those were the only two types of stroke my faltering memory could produce. I knew there were more...probably should have Googled for the others.

I'm a little stunned to find out that Lanaia was paying a ghost-writer $400 a month for TWO YEARS to produce this incoherent tome!?!

#221 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 11:01 AM:

If we could find this Mr. Hill, he would be a hurting puppy

Mr. Hill is hurting puppies?
It's worse than I imagined.

#222 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 11:24 AM:

Very late to the party, but...

I think Lanaia is worthy of pity --taking at her word,caveat here-- in that she is someone who is so desperate to see herself in print that she will believe all kinds of swill in spite of common sense. I can just see some grifter with a prune for a heart telling her that someone would take her "ideas" and write them up "properly".

On the other hand, Cheryl...oy gevalt. The gift that keeps on giving.

#223 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 11:33 AM:

Jen Birren @ 186: It is possible to plagiarise your own work; a PhD is supposed to be an original bit of research, so if you don't bother do do any more research and fill it up with what you've done for your Masters, that's plagiarism.

Indeed. As another example, this one from underneath my nonfiction freelancer hat, I sometimes end up on projects that are very similar to previous projects for the same editor. I am encouraged to reused the research where appropriate, but I am strictly forbidden to copy-paste from the previous manuscript, even though a rewritten section would convey the exact same information.


Alan Braggins @189: I think you do mean Antz, the other one was A Bug's Life and didn't have a noticable soldier caste.

That's right, I remember now. A Bug's Life was the one with the traveling circus and the grasshopper baddies. Antz was the one where Woody Allen wants to marry the ant princess and ends up saving the colony from the sergeant's coup-like machinations. Yeah, it was the latter.


abi @196: You're right, though anything so completely clunky that the reader stops and realises what I didn't say will do.

I'm a fan of 19th C / early 20th C ellisions, personally: "And shouted, 'What the f---k?'" Of course, the literature I'm thinking of used the device to euphemize much softer rhetoric, like "d---n," and also to anonymize known personages, like "Mrs. T---".

#224 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 11:43 AM:

Dorothy Rothschild @ #183:

while the article itself never directly states that copying his own thesis is plagiarism

The article never states that he copied his own thesis, period. What it states is that his thesis contains work that he copied from others.


they're selling this article as a) more alleged plagiarism through b) copying [his own] master's thesis.

I think you're misreading the article. They're not saying "Poshard has been accused of cribbing in his doctoral dissertation, and now we learn that one of the works he cribbed from is his own master's thesis"; what they're saying is "Poshard has been accused of cribbing in his doctoral dissertation, and now we learn that he is accused of cribbing in his master's thesis as well".

#225 ::: tasha ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 12:11 PM:

Cheryl,

Just FYI, everyone would be much more likely to accept an apology were the offending excerpt actually REMOVED from the author's web site. There is no excuse for that to still be on the Internet, credited to Lanaia Lee. NONE.

Her web page has not been updated to apologize to anybody for what has happened, nor to say that the book's release will be delayed. Your web site has not been updated either.

You have both had more than 24 hours to make these changes. That you have not says more than any non-apology.

#226 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 12:28 PM:

Suzanne, #167: from that article: Police are investigating whether the bogus note was among a batch distributed last year as a publicity stunt by a Dallas-based religious ministry.

*headdesk* What is it about Texas, anyhow?

Re the rest of your comment, I might have a little sympathy for Lainia in direct proportion to the amount of cognitive brain damage she may have suffered from her stroke. It's no more fair to expect someone with genuine brain damage to function at a normal intellectual level than it is to expect someone with severe arthritis to function at a normal physical level.

OTOH, if all the talk about the stroke is just a bid for sympathy, all bets are off.

Dave, #179: You sound rather like the probably-apocryphal .sig one of my friends uses:
The Earth is degenerating these days. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer mind their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
--Assyrian Stone Tablet, c.2800 BCE

Plagiarist's Agent, #198: Nor have we seen any apologies for the nasty name-calling and threats on YOUR part, let alone any acknowledgement that the people at Dear Author (and elsewhere) have not done anything wrong by exposing this nasty situation. Don't whine that you don't know what else you can do; no one is going to believe you.

There's no way you can make yourself be in the right about ANY of this clusterfuck. The only possible approach remaining is for you to own responsibility for your own screwups (i.e. the threats, name-calling, and fraudulent representation), which you seem singularly unwilling to do.

#227 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 12:36 PM:

ajay @#180: In one of the Dream Park sequels, the game du liber had a rule that using someone else's magic was Bad News; the rule was the basis for a trap in the endgame.

Your idea does seem pretty interesting, though -- perhaps some of the pirates could turn out to be privateers, bringing various governments into the the mess. You could hyave sea hags drowning victims in tangles of irrelevancy, manuscript sails driven by gusts of bloviation, flagships off-course because they lost their rud//eaders, ghost writers hiding in weighted mirrors... okay, okay, I'll stop now!

More seriously, and sadly, I'd bet lunch money that a doctor would take 15 minutes with "Lanaia" before noting "drastically impaired judgement".

#228 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 12:51 PM:

Just as an observation here -- an agent is running a business. Part of being a successful business owner is PR and selling one's product -- in this case, novels.

Cheryl, do you know who the people here are? The hosts? The people posting? The people who very likely lurk here? The friends they have? Do you understand how the publishing industry works and that people *talk* to each other?

Storming in, threatening the hosts of this blog with witchcraft and a lawsuit because they exposed a fraud that *you* should have detected *as the agent* before the book ever was printed ... and then demanding an apology? Because they became aware of plagariasm? And passed it on?

Dude.

This is classic. Do you *know* how bad it looks?

I'm small fry in the industry. I'm microscopic. Heck, I'm not even "small fry" -- I'm not even hatched yet. And *I* know that when you get caught in the wrong you don't threaten to sue TNH and Jim because they pointed out that you and your client were in the wrong. You gracefully apologize, fix the problem immediately, and then rant, rave, and break some dishes in private.

Me? Myself? If I screw up publically? I fix the problem then tell it to my dog. And apologize. Fixing comes first, apology second, dog third. (And venting to the dog is much better for your mental health than blaming the dog.)

Threatening to sue our esteemed hosts here (or hex them, or whatever) is just simply a bad business move. And you're trying to run a business.

Unless you're aspiring to run a scam. You're not trying to run a scam, are you?

#229 ::: Tesla ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 12:52 PM:

@95: "[sic-by-parallel]"

But I thought that every malformed sentence was malformed in its own way?
(Tolstoy-by-parallel)

#230 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:00 PM:

227: I am so stealing these ideas. Ghost writers, especially. Also manuscript sails.

Dammit, now I have two magical publishing stories going at once. One is present day and mostly set on land, in a publishing house dealing with obstreperous agents and a plagiarism case; the other is 19th century and mostly set at sea, with a really nasty version of the famous New York dockside scene where thousands of people gather to find out if Little Nell yet lives. (Short answer: in a sense, yes.)

#231 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:08 PM:

ajay, wouldja hurry up and write them? I want to read them both!

#232 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:10 PM:

Re 188, 198:

Ms. Pillsbury, you may think that you have made the form of an apology, but the substance of your comment is accusation levened with threats frosted with bad grammar. You can fill a bundt pan with plaster and packing peanuts, and paint the result with chocolate colored epoxy, but the substance will not be yummy yummy cake.

#233 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:31 PM:

ajay @ 230... find out if Little Nell yet lives

Will Dudley Dooright save her from the evil clutches of Snidely Whiplash?

#234 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:31 PM:

ajay (at 230) -- I want to read these, too!

#235 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:34 PM:

I remember back in 1994 reading Lion of Macedon in paperback. It had the first two chapters of Dark Prince as a teaser in the back. In that context, that first chapter seemed to be Gemmel saying "I see your* Lion of Macedon and raise you a demonically posessed Alexander the Great". I couldn't afford the hardback** (at Uni at the time). Would you believe that this chapter is burned into my brain? I'm not the only person Gemmel did this too either.

At least no one has tried to make the defence that Gemmel himself was recycling Greek History and Mythology for this particular novel; that stuff is all out of copyright, he acknowledged where it came from in the bibliography and he had the decency to use his own words†.

* Or rather his, but then this phrase looks even odder
** If there was one; I eventually borrowed the trade paperback from Ray across the hall. My copy of Lion of Macedon still has the Music and Video Exchange sticker on it, so it looks like I had to buy it second hand.
† And his own story. It may have been about this time that I began to collect fictional Alexanders; it's an odd hobby‡, but I like it. Do I need to make it clear that I'm just barely semi-serious about the "decency to use his own words" bit?
‡ Not as odd as collection fictional Boudicas which I started about the same time.

#236 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:50 PM:

"to find out if Little Nell yet lives. (Short answer: in a sense, yes.)"

Can you call it living when one so young is left bereft of all morality!? A common trollop in the sinful city of New Orleans!

My gentle company, now I can reveal to you the awful truth; little Nell, our Nell that was once so pure, was last seen in the company of a young scion of a plantation family by name Louis de Pointe du Lac, and his friend, a depraved and bloodthirsty Frenchman.
I hereby calumniate as abominable these two despoilers of innocence that she calls her 'daddies'!

#237 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:50 PM:

Just to state something clearly that I don't believe has been previously mentioned:

It doesn't matter if some of the book was actually ghostwritten by Chris Hill. As long as Lainia is being represented as the original author of work which is not hers, it's plagiarism. (Wasn't there a link recently to a website offering custom-written term papers for sale? Same thing.)

The correct form of attribution for a ghostwritten book is "by [Author] with [Ghostwriter]". If William Shatner can get it right, there's no excuse for anyone else not to do so. Merely removing/rewriting the sections plagiarized from Gemmell will not make it legitimate to publish this book with Lainia credited as the sole author.

#238 ::: Carl ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 01:56 PM:

Whooee! This has been an intereting and jam-packed thrill ride!

(Oooh - jam!)

(BTW - the pickles are on the second shelf, on the right. Please leave at least one for me.)

In almost 25 years in the Criminal Justice System (as a court clerk and legal clerk), I've rarely seen a case so fraught with lies, deception, advantage-taking, double dealing and outright flummery.

Some of the things said by the accused are of the sort that used to have my judge take a 5 minute recess so he and I could step back into the hallway and fall down laughing from the sheer effrontery, brazenness and brainlessness of the defendants/litigants.

But it is pathetic that anyone whose apparent mental and emotional age is 13 (from things said, and the way in which they have been said I am approximating) can actually make a living in a service industry, or in a field in which one makes a living by getting people to trust you. It's a sad world where such folk can actually do well for themselves from the disabled, the immature, and the fecklessly naive, and get away with it.

I look forward to seeing what becomes of this incredible cluster-hug.

BTW - #210 - Bryan: Are you by any chance referring to the baby-eating Bishop of Bath & Wells?

#239 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:05 PM:

Ajay #230: I want to read those too!

#240 ::: Bianca ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:11 PM:

#32 ::: Cheryl Pillsbury ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2007, 05:11 PM:

My name is Cheryl Pillsbury, published in my own right, I'm also the founder of AG Press which did the work on the book, 'Of Atlantis.' Come to find out from a deep search into this issue, we discovered a former literary agent she worked with on this book gave her advice on how to write the prologue. Come to find out, it is simular to his book. We didn't know this, we don't know him and never did until today. We do apologise for this, we are planning to do a re-write and remedey this issue.

For people who throw stones at glasses houses should be very cautious about speaking before they know the truth. Slander can cause a major lawsuit from the author and the publisher mentioned, because I will make sure they know about this and dear Jane will have nightmares in 10 fold. Yes, I'm Wicca.

I was just informed, the author has already set the motions for the lawsuit, be prepared. You were told by the lawyer not to post anything related to this issue, first amendement does not apply. I have made a copy of this site for proof, see you soon. Have a ducky day.
=======================

I have tattled on you at witchwars2.

Now on to the rest.

Thank you so very much for making Pagans to look even more idiotic then they are already made out to be.

It's not 10 fold, it's 3 fold and it applies to YOUR MAGICKAL WORKINGS AND YOUR LIFE. Try reading www.wiccaweb under why wiccans suck, and you should get a decent history. The three fold law comes into being as a karmic reprocussion when your teh stupid(I'm summarising it's more complex). Try reading the entire Wiccan Rede and not just the 8 lines. And try reading some more the llwelyn for a change.

If you are planning to do a spell to put retribution 10 fold on anyone, I'd seriously think hard about it. It's not like MAAT has better things to do with her time then listen to your petty grievances and you may not like being told to grow the heck up. Heck judges these days hate trival lawsuits, can you imagine what the Gods of Justice feel?!

Shakes head.

Really everyone, not All Wiccans or Pagans are this well(fill in the blank)

#241 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:12 PM:

Damn. Look at what I missed, thanks to the day job and going to hear Charlie Stross last night...

OTOH, I got the full force of the entertainment this morning...and I've gotta say, my remedial writing class writes better than the two major protagonists in this little debacle....

#242 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:16 PM:

Cheryl @ 198 IF you pulled the book why is the information unchanged on the web site? As I left on the message board yesterday(which got deleted); Take it down! It is an atrocity and is not helping your side by leaving it up.

If you can take the time time to miss-represent Wiccans and your poor clients and throw around threats of internet lawsuits then you can take twenty min to pull mention of the book off of your site and your client's site and put a real apology up.

Everyone else; I have lost a day of writing thanks to you. My sides ache from giggling so hard. Thanks. =D

#243 ::: Anna Pearson ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:17 PM:

Dear Ms Pillsbury

As a David Gemmell reader, I'd like to say that your apology on making light is appreciated, however, it would have been much more welcomed if you had actually mentioned what the apology related to and to whom the apology was aimed at.

I am also perplexed as to why the excerpt of 'Lanaia's' 'Of Atlantis' has not been removed from the internet, and a formal apology put in its place. Surely in the light of all the bad comments and press that is still ongoing, would it not be best to have it taken down from alongstoryshort.net ?

I hope that the situation is resolved smoothly and without much more distress to all involved.

#244 ::: Carrie V. ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:48 PM:

Is it wrong that these threads/train wrecks always make me feel so much better about myself?

#245 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 02:50 PM:

"BTW - #210 - Bryan: Are you by any chance referring to the baby-eating Bishop of Bath & Wells?"

No. The first post of mine in this thread should give a clue to the 'sources' of material for the subsequent posts (and a common thread linking most of these sources) up until the Little Nell post.

#246 ::: Nicole TWN ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 03:11 PM:

ajay@230: "I am so stealing these ideas."

That does seem appropriate.

#247 ::: Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 03:12 PM:

Is this another truth nugget from #78?

"Roval Publishing is a sef-publishing company that specializes in digital"

I'm thinking digital in the "finger" sense, rubber glove optional, extra fee for Vaseline.

#248 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 04:44 PM:

#226 Lee: Re the rest of your comment, I might have a little sympathy for Lainia in direct proportion to the amount of cognitive brain damage she may have suffered from her stroke. It's no more fair to expect someone with genuine brain damage to function at a normal intellectual level than it is to expect someone with severe arthritis to function at a normal physical level. OTOH, if all the talk about the stroke is just a bid for sympathy, all bets are off.

Yeah, I thought about that a lot when I was writing my earlier comment. I guess there's so much dishonesty here that I find it hard not to have at least some reasonable doubt about the stroke story. After all, the author has managed to come here and post at least as coherently as her "agent", which suggests to me that she has to have at least enough presence of mind to recognize that the novel she was putting into print as her "gift" to the world was not her own work at all. Just as the man in Texas (even if he believed the $1,000,000 bill was real) must have known he hadn't really earned it, I'd be hard-pressed to be convinced that she wasn't at least somewhat aware that she was engaged in a cheat of some sort, whether or not she grasped the extent of it or the extent to which she was the victim.

I do feel bad for her, just not very much.

#249 ::: thom ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:02 PM:

One thing I'm confused about is Hill. Was his scam being worked worldwide or just in Britain?
If just in Britain, then how did he hook Lanana/Mary? To me he seems like a red herring, who Cheryl and Mary are using in a bid to divert the outrage.

#250 ::: Lanaia ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:19 PM:

Christopher Hill was before Cheryl, widely known now for his shane, just check out Writers Beware, he's listed there, I was scammed with bogus contracts with reputable publishing houses like Viking and Gryphon. I even have the e-mails from him breaking down his meeting with these guys.
Lanaia

#251 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:34 PM:

#250 Lanaia: I notice that you still have the stolen work posted at alongstoryshort under your own name.

What's up with that?

#252 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:39 PM:

thom @249
One thing I'm confused about is Hill. Was his scam being worked worldwide or just in Britain?
If just in Britain, then how did he hook Lanana/Mary? To me he seems like a red herring, who Cheryl and Mary are using in a bid to divert the outrage.

Hill probably hooked them through the same medium that allows me to read a New York based blog from my home office just north of Amsterdam. Teh Intarweebs are everywhere.

Victoria Strauss' link in comment 109 mentions that Lanaia was in contact with her about Hill before this story hit the webs. She also sounds like she has seen evidence which backs up the narrative we're being given here.

Without getting too far into the rest of the situation (vanity presses and agents that must be paid up front, both signs of Cargo Cult publishing*), I'd say the story of the source of the prologue is at least highly plausible.

-----
* That's the mindset that says if you have an Agent and Books On Your Shelf, you are as much a published author as Dan Brown. Never mind that DB makes a living doing it, while you have spend a lot of money getting to this place**. Yog's Law and all that.

** Not that there is anything wrong with being a hobby author, IMHO, if you're honest about the fact that that's what you're doing (and, it is to be hoped, enjoying the time you spend on it). I'm a hobby bookbinder; I spend my money and my time on my craft, but I don't pretend I'm Sir Bernard Middleton or Geert Van Daal.

#253 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:44 PM:

Oh my GOD you guys:

Mary "Lanaia Lee" Kellis just got written up today in her local paper promoting "On Atlantis".

Not mentioning it was ghostwritten, instead playing up her disabilities and claiming it was all her own work.

Cheryl claimed to have read the book SIX TIMES.

"
“Of Atlantis” is based on a short story called “Identity,” which Mary wrote four years ago under the pen name Lanaia Lee. Lanaia comes from a character on the “Stargate” science fiction series and Lee is her mother’s maiden name."

#254 ::: Alma Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:49 PM:

Lanaia #250, my sympathies. But you are *perpetuating the scam*. You may have emails detailing Hill's meetings with Viking, but it should be obvious by now that they are not true. It is also beyond obvious that the excerpt which is STILL up on your website with your name on it does not belong to you, whatever the fake "Viking" emails have to say.

You might well have been scammed but you've shot yourself in the foot here, badly, and the only way out is to do several hard things.

1) Sever all ties with Cheryl, immediately, and distance yourself from her in public. Your website will be one appropriate place to do this.

2) Take down that excerpt, and post a REAL apology in its place. You can say you've been scammed. You can say whatever you like. Just say you're sorry, and hopefully that you won't do it again.

3) Scrap this particular project, which is tainted beyond recovery, and start writing something else if writing is truly the "gift you want to share with the world". You may have to be content with sharing it on the Internet. You may go with an outfit like Lulu,com, if you're that desperate for a book-shaped object with your name on it. But it will have to be a different book. The sooner you come to grips with that, the sooner you can start working on it. If you want to, that is.

Writing is hard work. Probably harder than you ever thought it would be. The only way out and up is THROUGH. You have to do the work, and pay the dues.

One last thing. I can appreciate a stroke can take away your ability to physically write - I am married to a stroke survivor, and since his stroke, four-and-change years ago, he is still not able to use his right hand to type with. However, it has not stopped him from writing - he uses voice recognition software, and dictates his stuff into the computer. Failing that, you can hire (for far less money than you paid Christopher Hill) someone to whom you can dictate your story and then that person can type it into the computer. But once again - you have to WANT to write, and you have to do your own writing. There is simply no way around that. The stroke might have been traumatic, even tragic, but you're playing it here as the pity card so that people will feel sorry for you and stop harping on you and just accept whatever "writing" you might have to offer. But even with the stroke taken into the equation, you've damaged your own credibility here, and it's taking further hits every day, every hour, every minute that excerpt is up on your website with your name attached to it.

There you go. Take the thing down. Apologise. Tell Cheryl she no longer speaks for you.

Then start again, fresh. Sadder, but wiser. It's the only way out of the hole.

#255 ::: Jenna ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 06:50 PM:

Explain to me why someone uses a pen name but always mentions her real name in the next breath.

Kinda ruins the point of a pen name, it seems to me.

#256 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:00 PM:

Alma @ 254: according to the Burlington Times article, the stroke damaged vocal cords but not motor function. So dictation is out but she probably doesn't have trouble typing.

#257 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:09 PM:

Ajay @#230: Hey, you can't steal those... I just gave them to you! ;-)

Seriously, if I ever write anything it's likely to be in a totally different sub-genre, a punnishing story like that would have me drowning in cognitive spaghetti. Go for it!

#258 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:21 PM:

On the subject of publishing, altho' the themes sound rather familiar, I was wondering if people here would be interested in looking at and discussing the ideas in this story I ran across at Yahoo!? It goes into detail beyond the two bits I've extracted.
Lean years for the British novel, publishers say

FRANKFURT (AFP) - The British are savouring Doris Lessing's Nobel Literature Prize but publishers at the world's biggest book fair said on Friday the nation had forsaken good novels for mysteries and gory thrillers. … In recent years, they have witnessed a rush for thick, densely-plotted novels that make for a gratifying but effortless read. …
The publishers say the hard times do not scare off would-be authors. "Microsoft is the bane of our lives," Legrand said, adding that a manuscript must be truly good for a publisher to read past page three.
Shelly said only one percent of the stories sent to publishers around the world, would eventually become books. "We are looking for good story-telling. It is very rare."
I like the slushpile warning.

Meanwhile, I keep seeing Roval as Royal with the tail of the y cut off. Annoying to the eye.

#259 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:43 PM:

"Little Nell?" Hmmm.
Could there be a longer and darker story behind this picture than we've suspected? (Item 270170938819)

#260 ::: janie ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:44 PM:

Have you guys seen this?

Mary discovered Roval Publishing Company through her friend Cheryl Pillsbury of Pepperell, Mass. Mary wrote poems to accompany some of Pillsbury’s writings.

“To me, it’s amazing that she can take history and weave fantasy into it,” Pillsbury said in a recent phone interview. “I’m a fan. I’ve read the book six times already.”

“Of Atlantis” is based on a short story called “Identity,” which Mary wrote four years ago under the pen name Lanaia Lee. Lanaia comes from a character on the “Stargate” science fiction series and Lee is her mother’s maiden name.
#261 ::: shawn struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 07:46 PM:

Uh yeah.

Seven posts previous to yours. ;)

#262 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:00 PM:

Serge, #233, I don't know a lot about Dudley, but I'm pretty sure Little Nell comes from Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Suzanne, #248, the picture of her and hubby, next to the bit where it says they both use wheelchairs, shows that neither of them are in wheelchairs. Of course, not all people who use wheelchairs use them all the time. If I could get a scrip for one, I'd be going to museums and fall festivals and such again, but I wouldn't use it for grocery shopping. (The doctors don't consider museums and fall festivals and such as essential, while at the same time they tell me that online conversation is not adequate socialization.)

shadowsong, #256, if she doesn't have problems with motor function, why does she use a wheelchair or walker? Most people with paralyzed vocal cords can whisper. Mine are partially-paralyzed (not related to the strokes) and if I talk for very long, my voice becomes odd. I can't sing anymore, though. I can see the trach scar in that picture. She's quoted as speaking mostly grammatically, which means either she's pretending here, or the article writer cleaned it up.

#263 ::: janie ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:09 PM:

@shawn struck

oops. sorry, shawn. got all eager and stuff. had to share. :D

#264 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:14 PM:

Marilee @ 262... The little Nell originally refered to in this thread was from a Dickens novel. Can't remember the title. As for the Nell I brought up, she sort-of was the girlfriend of Dudley Dooright. Sort-of, because she apparently was more interested in his horse (who was called Horse) than in his Brian-Mulroney chin.

#265 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:14 PM:

Epacris, #258: I must confess to some confusion. How exactly is "a thick, densely-plotted novel" equated with "an effortless read"? Those two terms would appear, on the surface, to signify opposing things.

The Peshawar Lancers (just to pick a recently-read example) certainly qualifies as both thick and densely-plotted. It takes a certain amount of concentration to keep up with everything that's going on, and the descriptive prose itself is densely woven; if I got too tired, I found my eyes skating over the pages. I certainly wouldn't describe my experience of reading it as "effortless"; but if I want effortless, I read frothy Regency romances! And it also definitely made me think about a lot of things, which IMO is one of the marks of a really outstanding story.

Perhaps they're saying that reading a "good novel" should be work rather than pleasure. If that's the case, I couldn't disagree more. A book one has to work* to read is a poorly-written book.

* "Work" in this context includes the tag [+unpleasant]. Working at something you enjoy is fun, but it doesn't sound as if they're talking about that.

#266 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:15 PM:

#262 Marilee: I guess what I was trying to say was less that I doubted that she'd actually had a stroke so much as I doubted that whatever stroke(s) she'd had were sufficient to count as any real defense/explanation for the sort of ethical impairment on display here. And yeah, while Ms. Pillsbury and Mr. Hill are obviously the greater cretins, everything that has happened here (as we understand things so far) directly stemmed from her willingness to pass off work that she knew was not her own.

#267 ::: Christine ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:38 PM:

Yeah, Cheryl, that apology was lame.

I mean, I agree with whoever said you need to own up to the mistake, and do it graciously.

There should be NO evidence of that passage on the website, an apololgy to David's family and brief explanation should be in it's place. You apologize profusely and explain how you made a grevious error and will use this as a learning experience and how you hope it will make you a stronger person and a better writer. (see, I went and did all the hard work, where's MY $400??)

I would also consider writing a formal apology to the newspaper who did the original interview, pehaps offering to explain your side of the story, before they get a hold of it and do a nasty expose piece. You made them look foolish, and they won't forget it.

What you don't do is threaten people. Jane is welcome to post what she likes in this case, you have no basis for suit, especially since what she posted was the truth.

There are right ways to do this, and wrong ways, and guess which road you took?

Just my bit of advice for you. Free of charge.

#268 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:43 PM:

Lee @ 265... Stirling never wrote another Peshawar, did he? I had to really suspend my disbelief about the central premise, but hey, that didn't keep me from enjoying the book.

#269 ::: Vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 08:47 PM:

I know I'm awfully late to the party, but I think I've worked out the tenfold rule thing.

When you treble the back-at-you-by-three karma hit, it acts like a bakers dozen and you get an extra one. Only with totally different numbers, of course. And no dozen, to speak of.

Now, for the believers, and I'm not of the religion so I really don't know what's at stake here, what exactly is Jane being threatened with getting back three or ten times? She's exposed a pretty nasty piece of work in Ms Cheryl, so if she's ever as nasty a piece of work herself, she'll get thrice (or ten times) as exposed? How does the karmic payback work?

#270 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:07 PM:

Suzanne: A stroke can cause all sorts of changes to mental function. While that can include loss of ethical constraints, it's probably more common to see general deficits in judgement -- besides ethical judgements, that can include reality-testing, "people-reading", evaluating social contexts, distinguishing truth from fantasy, and even the ability to "learn from experience". I'd say some combination of those would explain most of what we've seen from her, and some of what we've heard about in this saga.

People with such impairments are easy game for con-artists of all sorts, and if that's her situation, then this really is a tragic abuse, of someone who's legally and morally non compos mentis. Unfortunately, we may not find out for sure until a court considers her case....

PS: I love the ML "page not found" message!

#271 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:10 PM:

Epacris #258: So they're saying there's no good British literature anymore, just that filthy genre stuff? How terrible.

Also, do they give any examples of these thick, densely-plotted British gorefests? They sound good.

#272 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:11 PM:

I'm inclined to agree with Scraps that the apology is not owed to us, but to the Gemmell estate and to Jane Little. One could argue that Cheryl Pilsbury should apologize for the threatened curses and legal action; but since we tend to regard those as a variety of snack food, I don't see much point to it.

Mary Kellis/Lanaia Lee has been engaging in vanity and self-deception, with what looks like a lot of help from Cheryl Pillsbury. She's still unclear on the concept of plagiarism, and it was wrong of her to let that news story go into print when she knew the book's status was so questionable. On the other hand, she has been imposed on, and it's pretty evident that she's not the sharpest hammer in the bag.

Cheryl Pillsbury, though, appears to be a natural-born bottom feeder. Mary Kellis considers Cheryl her friend. Cheryl's been published once each by Xlibris and Outskirts, and twice by PublishAmerica. This shows staggeringly bad judgement, but never mind. For now, the point is that there's no way Cheryl doesn't know how fruitless it is to publish your work with such outfits.

Nevertheless, she's charged Mary for the privilege of having her book placed with another such vanity publisher. Roval uses the same come-on line as all the other scammers. It's right there in that news story:

“The book should be available in Barnes & Noble stores around the country by February of next year,” Adams added.
(For those of you who haven't heard this one before: "available in Barnes & Noble stores" means "available if you go to a B&N in person, specifically request this book, pay for it in advance, and come back weeks later to pick it up." However, aspiring authors always take the phrase to mean "Your book is going to be stocked in Barnes & Noble bookstores," and are severely disappointed to find that isn't so.)

Also: Cheryl claims to be a fan of the book. She says she's read it six times. How is it that she never spotted the error in the first chapter where David Gemmell's "Alexander" wasn't changed to "Archimedes"? Granted, Cheryl's own prose is awful; but that's an obtrusive, sore-thumb error. How do you miss it six times running?

For that matter, how do you miss the speed-bump discontinuity where David Gemmell's prose was grafted onto Christopher Hill's? Is Cheryl, who has set herself up as a literary agent, unable to tell the difference between the two writers? Or is she fibbing when she claims to be a big fan of Mary Kellis's book?

#273 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:32 PM:

FWIW, I think of "Little Nell" as being from Dickens (The Old Curiosity Shop, probably, though it's been almost 70 years since I read it), and "Little Eva" from Uncle Tom's Cabin. And then there's Eskimo Nell, though I don't think of her as being little.

#274 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:39 PM:

Thick, densely plotted, yet easy to read: Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code. They may also be taking a swipe at Harry Potter. I don't think they mean Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

#275 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 09:41 PM:

I am remiss. I have neglected to say that Fragano's villanelle and Abi's duck poem are wonderful.

#276 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 10:28 PM:

Vian: I'm not actually practicing Wicca anymore, but I'll take a stab:

The basic point here is that the "tenfold" threat made no more sense than anything else in her letters.

The way it's supposed to work is a little like dharma, but more direct: whatever actions you take towards other people will also affect what happens to you. That applies to life in general, but the use of magic in particular emphasizes the effect, and hostile or unethical use of magic ("curses" and the like) especially tends to lash back on the caster in disastrous ways.

Now, different traditions interpret this somewhat differently -- some consider the threefold rule to apply to any actions affecting others, whether magical or not. Some groups consider it applicable specifically to magical actions, or specifically to hostile actions. Some consider is specific to failed spells, where the magic is frustrated or "broken", and thus comes back in a chaotic form. Pretty much all of them would consider that the worst case is a failed curse, and worst of all, one where you don't even have support from "the gods" (roughly, moral standing).

It's also considered unwise to go around magically attacking random people, for much the same reason that (sane) martial artists don't go around picking fights -- sooner or later, you run into somebody who can kick your ass or worse. In magic, this is complicated by the idea that even "normal", non-magical people have natural defenses (think of a hedgehog). Some people also have a fair bit of "natural power"... especially leaders of groups, and people who are widely admired respected, and/or revered.

In this case, AFAIK, Jane had not in fact attacked or persecuted Cheryl directly -- the only "harm" she'd done was to expose Cheryl's own dishonest and exploitative acts. The only possible basis for her claim of any-fold effects would be something like "your actions hurt me, so I get to hurt you worse". But that's not how Wiccan morality works. Indeed, vindictiveness, even for real harm, is usually considered hazardous to your psychic health, even before your curses start bouncing! The whole point of Threefold Return is, "let the Goddess take care of it".

In this case, Cheryl has basically swept the boards for "dumbass use of magic" -- unfounded retaliation, poor moral standing, ignorance of ritual rules (and not just the three vs. ten bit), attacking a "hard target", and above all hubris (always a killer). There may be other issues, but I can't be bothered to tease them out.

Does that help?

#277 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 10:36 PM:

I don't think I've ever felt so... so... dirty... at an online forum. Kind of makes me miss my plecostomus. At least that bottom feeder actually cleaned the tank. I feel the urge to wash my hands or take a shower or something. Very strange.

#278 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 10:40 PM:

Oh, and just to retrieve the specific point of your question (sorry about that), the original threat was "tenfold nightmares". That's considered a pretty typical magical attack and/or rebound from same.

#279 ::: Carol Witt ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 10:44 PM:

#253 Shawn Struck:

That news article is dated August 12, 2007, not today.

#280 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 11:03 PM:

And I remain amused by the entire business. I can't help but wonder if Mary and Cheryl think that David Gemmell paid someone to write and publish his books too.

Or if they actually understand what plagiarism is. Hint: if you didn't write the words, and you take credit for them, that's plagiarism. Even if you don't get paid for it.

#281 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 11:05 PM:

There's a fair track through Google from Mary/Lanaia's participation in other forums that appears to confirm her history of disability, as well as previous authorship of various poems and other short pieces.

WRT some of the previous posts here about the proper way to credit a ghostwriter, I rather thought it was traditional *not* to credit a ghostwriter (hence the "ghost"), or perhaps at most to discreetly place their name on the copyright page. If their credit is more conspicuous, then surely they're automatically elevated to "co-author", even if the contribution of the better known "author" was limited to writing the name on a contract?

I must confess that I haven't checked the copyright pages of the ton of books whose covers credit them to VC Andrews, who has been far more prolific in death than she was in life; otoh this may be fudged somewhat by the current use of "VC Andrews" as a trademark rather than a name per se.

...though I, too, am boggled by the concept of vanity-publishing a ghostwritten manuscript as the path to Real Authorship.

#282 ::: bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 11:18 PM:

Has anyone else seen the bit about hailing herself as the second coming of Edgar Allen Poe?

"Dark Gothic Poetry by the Edgar Allen Poe of the modern age!"

This is exactly like the plagiarism dramas I've seen happen over the years in various fandoms, including the milking of personal tragedies as excuse for theft and lies, assertions of murderous intent upon the part of the exposers, and the appearance of cohorts-not-sockpuppets rushing to the defense. I wonder what exactly the behind-the-scenes scenes for Ben Domenech, Mike Barnicle, Jayson Blair et al were like for melodrama?

#283 ::: Leslie in CA ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 11:23 PM:

beth meacham #280:

Hint: if you didn't write the words, and you take credit for them, that's plagiarism. Even if you don't get paid for it.

Or even if you paid for it.

#284 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 11:26 PM:

The VC Andrews books are now written by Andrew Neiderman. I find it odd and vaguely inappropriate that they're written by a man.

Unfortunately, I can't find my favorite ghostwriting quote right now. When Pamela Anderson's novel was about to come out, I read an interview with her where she basically said, "Yeah, I decided I wanted to write a book, but I didn't know anything about writing, so I hired this guy to help me with, you know, the basics: grammar, sentence structure, what should happen next..." She was pretty up-front, in a hilarious way, about the fact that she didn't actually write the book.

#285 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2007, 11:54 PM:

Teresa, #272: At this point, it's very likely that Mary considers Cheryl her only friend, the one person who's stuck by her since the shit hit the fan. The fact that this is only true because Cheryl is in it hip-deep herself (and therefore has to keep up the pretense) isn't going to occur to her. And it's one more black mark against Cheryl. I don't even want to think about the amount of karmic retribution that woman is accumulating.

#286 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 12:28 AM:

I note with bemusement that in the Burlington Times article Mary and her husband "live independently with their fateful [sic] companion; a 7-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Jack."

I dunno. This whole flap has inspired a couple of lovely bits of poetry, and some primo flights of fancy. That's got to put a couple of karma points in someone's pocket.

#287 ::: Vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 02:30 AM:

Thanks Dave - I mean, if she'd threatened excummunication or something at least we'd understand what Big Stick was being waved about here.

And nightmares? Look, I hate the bloody things. Really. An interrupted night's sleep made worse by my own wierd little psyche is a complete annoyance, and can occasionally make the next day a bit of an uphill climb. Mind you I don't have them above twice a year, and food and wine to excess seem to be related to the experience.

But it strikes me as a wierd thing to threaten someone with - I mean, your nightmares come from within your own head. Karmically, I could see the value in a warning along the lines of "this will hurt you a lot more than it hurts the person you are trying to harm (it'll metaphorically or literally come back to you thrice)" - you do evil things, you're going to become an evil person, and at the end of the day, there you'll be with all the terrible, morally bereft things you've done.[1] But is Cheryl trying to claim she'll make Jane have nightmares? Curse her with them, visit them upon her? And not expecting to be laughed at?

Because if I were the type to make threats, and I'm not, as a rule, although occasionally I give warnings, I'd at least stick to things I had an outside chance of controlling.

[1]You know - like if you fleece a person with a disability and act like you've actually done them some sort of favour when all you're really done is point her towards a vanity press and ... oh never mind ...

#288 ::: janeyolen ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 03:47 AM:

So has anybody actually written to the Burlington Times exposing this?

Has it been sent to Locus?

Jane

#289 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 04:00 AM:

#288: Has it been sent to Locus?

I have no idea, but Ansible has been taking notes....

#290 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 04:00 AM:

I take a break from horse wrangling and miss all the excitement.

Perhaps the missing pieces of this plagarism case are the monkeys. Hill subcontracted to 1,000 monkeys that banged furiously against their keyboards. Unbeknownst to the monkeys their keyboards had been switched from QWERTY to DVORAK --- and thus we ended up with Gemmel as opposed to Shakespeare.

#291 ::: LadyM ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:27 AM:

#288: So has anybody actually written to the Burlington Times exposing this?

I sent an email to the author. No response yet.
I also sent one to the owner of the Long Story Short page, was duly thanked for the information, and yet the plagiarized exerpt is still up on the page a day later. Go figure. So much for being a busybody nosy parker.

#292 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:44 AM:

I never threatened anyone directly, I don't practice witchcraft, I'm not qualified. Ms. Lee is a victim of this issue and it will be resolved. If I knew who Mr. Gemmell was and had read his books, I would have noticed it and we wouldn't be here now. If I could apologize to them directly I would, but I don't have their address or number. I'm truly sorry this took place, we never meant to harm anyone and we are solving the issue.

#293 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 08:15 AM:

This thread misses Xopher, like a soup misses an essential herb.

When is he back? Will the piñata still have any sweets when he is?

#294 ::: janeyolen ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 08:44 AM:

Langford, you sly dog, we knew we could count on you!

Jane

#295 ::: Christine ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 08:56 AM:

You could have Lanaia post a public apology on her website. I think that would do.

And if you're 'not qualified', why did you even say it??? Just wondering.

#296 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:09 AM:

Because I'm re-learning Wicca, so I don't qualify to threaten or anything else, yet. I believe she has, if not I will ask her to do so.

#297 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:26 AM:

"I'm sorry this took place."

Not "I'm sorry for the things I did and said."..?

Want to try again?

#298 ::: LadyM ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:59 AM:

You certainly have a lot to re-learn, if you think threatening plays *any* part in Wicca.

#299 ::: Jane Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 10:13 AM:

To Ethan, up there at #284:

Just last night I heard Katie Price, AKA Jordan (glamour model and TV face) declare on the Jonathan Ross show (I'm in the UK, if you haven't all ready guessed) that she "wrote" her own books although she "didn't do any of that typing and stuff". Quite what input she did have was not made clear: but she looks very nice in the author photographs, I'm sure.

This whole thread has been a joy. It's covered every sort of writing scam I can think of; has taken in a bit of legal wrangling and occult-dabbling on the way (and I say that without intending to be disrespectful to the Real Wiccans here, which I recognise as being separate to the Wiccas, a whole new category now open before me); and has even managed a brief discussion of literature from Dickens to Dan Brown.

I just wonder where Hill is, what else he's up to: and how many more of his ghost-written gems are out there, waiting to explode.

#300 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 10:28 AM:

Cheryl, were you (as Lanaia's agent) the person who found Hill and put Lanaia in contact with him?

#301 ::: Lili ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 10:33 AM:

Jumping in on the tangent:

publishers at the world's biggest book fair said on Friday the nation had forsaken good novels for mysteries and gory thrillers.

Well, isn't that just adorable.

I write psychological mystery - my first book came out earlier this year. I do my level best to write books that are not only good mysteries but damn good novels. A pretty decent number of readers and reviewers seem to think I'm succeeding.

If only someone had told me, before I went to all this trouble, that there's no such thing as a good novel about a mystery - the two are mutually exclusive.

You'll have to excuse me while I go wash off some of the stupid.

#302 ::: Simon Bradshaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 10:38 AM:

Cheryl @292:

I may be a little slow on the uptake here, but could you remind me again exactly how "...dear Jane will have nightmares in 10 fold. Yes, I'm Wicca." might not be construed as a threat?

If I knew who Mr. Gemmell was

I think it best to explain this in short, simple words. David Gemmell was a very famous and successful fantasy and historical author. His books were, and still are, published by Transworld and Del Ray, both part of Random House, an extremely big publisher. Big publishers often get very upset when other people copy and reproduce books that they have paid for the right to publish.

If I could apologize to them directly I would

Well, Random House's address is on its website. However, its lawyers may well be contacting you anyway to discuss an apology, although they might expect you to go a little further than just saying that you are sorry.

If you are not seeking advice from a lawyer who specialises in intellectual property law, it would be a very, very good idea for you to do so right now.

#303 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 10:41 AM:

"...gory thrillers."

I read that as goy thrillers at first.

#304 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 11:02 AM:

Greg London (#277): I share your general response that all of this is icky ("Unclean! Unclean!").

The Burlington Times should either publish a letter from someone here (has one been written?) or issue a correction. As for lawsuits, the uncleanness is so general that no one can claim entire innocence in this case. No genuine lawyers, then, I guess.

Nearly all threads on this site become hilarious at some point. I thank Bryan (especially in #203)for *my* biggest grins -- though "Mis-Spelled" as a title, somewhere upthread, is also lovely.

And speaking of spelling, I've had to cringe at every post from the chief protagonists. Typo Alert! very quickly went into Code Red. (Can Jim suggest a handy packet we should all have in case of that emergency? These days, white-out, a dictionary, and even automatic computer spell-checks don't seem to cut it.)

#305 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 11:06 AM:

Re the post above, "(especially in #203)for" should have a space after the close-parenthesis. My apologies!

#306 ::: Lili ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 11:08 AM:

'...goy thrillers'

Bwahahaha!!! Next time someone asks me what I write, that's what I'm telling them.

I'm deeply perplexed by the fact that Ms Lee's 'agent' feels that the person who exposed the plagiarism did something vewy vewy mean to Ms Lee. She did her a BIG favour. From what I've gathered, the book was due to come out soon. If the plagiarism hadn't been caught before then, surely Ms Lee's problems could have been bigger than they are now.

#307 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 11:12 AM:

#270 David: Sigh. I still don't get how she could be sufficiently damaged from a stroke to not know that she was claiming to have authored words that she clearly didn't, but I'll take your word for it that it's possible.

#308 ::: Carol Witt ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 11:24 AM:

#291 LadyM:

The link to the newspaper article now leads to a "404 Not Found" message, so somebody paid attention.

#309 ::: marty ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 12:19 PM:

boy o boy, I love this place.

#310 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 12:59 PM:

Cheryl, you did threaten Jane, so now you're lying. "Slander can cause a major lawsuit from the author and the publisher mentioned, because I will make sure they know about this and dear Jane will have nightmares in 10 fold. Yes, I'm Wicca." "...Jane should apologize and pray she didn't mean the lawsuit..." You are denying your own words, which -- unfortunately for you -- are recorded on the Internet. You might want to simply shut up for a while, and think about everything you've written over the past few days, before you make any more statements that can be so easily disproved.

You are not impressing anyone. And the Gemmell text, as of five minutes ago, was still up on Lanaia's webpage, still credited to Ms. Lee. Your claims of apologies are weakened by that continued falsehood.

#311 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 01:08 PM:

Vian: And nightmares? ... But it strikes me as a wierd thing to threaten someone with - I mean, your nightmares come from within your own head.

Well, that's the rationalist explanation. The practice of magic presumes the existence of psychic communication, so nightmares can easily be interpreted in terms of a psychic attack and/or hostile spirits. There's also the point that nightmares are both untestable (can't prove that someone else did or didn't have them) and suggestible. Consider that I could certainly post a passage of text here, which would inflict nightmares upon at least some of the readers! (Indeed, being mildly autistic, I had to learn not to toss that sort of thing at innocent conversationalists.) But the only proof of my "attack" would be the self-reports from upset victims.

It is possible that Cheryl's intended meaning was more like "well, this situation is a 'nightmare' for me, and Jane was the proximate cause, so she'll have an even worse experience", but even that shows a sad ignorance of moral responsibility, and its relation to the Threefold Return.

Not quite a digression: A few years ago, I realized that many "ritual constraints" on magic -- rules about "no bragging about your power", or "no talking about a spell before it bears fruit", etc., were really aspects of a single principle, which I dubbed the Zeroth Law Of Magic. The ZLoM can be summed up as "plausible deniability" -- it can never be "provable to the world at large" that the ordinary laws of nature have been violated. Like other magical (and natural) laws, this is self-enforcing -- if you try to break it, something else will give way instead. Of course, fundamentals like causality, or material permanence, are much more resilient than ephemerals such as belief, personal credibility, or even mental stability!

The big loophole in ZLoM is "shared subjective reality" -- that is, you can convince people who are sharing a "private world" with you. But if you try to extend the proof outside your "circle", (e.g. that "chi master" who tried to challenge a real martial artist) then you're SOL.

#312 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 01:20 PM:

Here's what Cheryl just e-mailed me.

"I am her agent and close friend. She is a victim of this persons work, both of us never heard of him or read his books, sorry he passed away, it is a great loss. When it was brought to our attention, I immedicately investigated the situation and found the written e-mail proof this Mr. Hill, the ex-ghost writer did copy his first chaper from Dark Prince as her prologue for Of Atlantis. We have apologized many times, we have placed the book on hold until we re-write it so this will end and no one is hurt, but its too late. Before anyone could give us a chance to solve this, everyone is having a field day like kids, calling names and labeling the wrong
person, this is wrong. I have used a ghost writer with some of my work and thankfully I didn't have this happen, but unfortunately she did. We know we are innocent and will hold onto that. If everyone wishes to continue to slander, she may sue. My attorney has copies of everything and he'll decide what needs to be done. This horse issue is dead and I'm tired of repeating myself, the subject is closed, move on."

So, do you hear that? She has copies of email! And her attorney might decide to do something! And we're slandering her! And the book is on hold, what more do we want?

Also, she's written for vanity presses and used a ghostwriter too! I don't know if that's just sad, or stupid.

#313 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 01:21 PM:

Vian #269: I'd parsed it as Buddhist + 2/3 Wiccan. I'd call it Bud in a can.

#314 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 01:58 PM:

TNH #275: Thanks. I feel that it is only proper to credit Cheryl as the inspiration for the villanelle and to wish her all the, ahem, bliss of an eternity in the Eighth Circle.

#315 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 02:03 PM:

At this hour the "golden-haired child" has not been removed from alongstoryshort.net.

Why in the foo is that excerpt still there, still listing Ms. Lee as the author?

============

Re: fee-charging agents.

1) Never pay a fee to an agent.

2) You don't need an agent of any kind to "sell" a book to a vanity press. The only agents who do "sell" books to vanity presses are fee-chargers.

3) If all the non-scammer fee-charging agents decided to go camping the back seat of his car would have lots of room for the ice chest, tent, sleeping bag, and miniature Schnauzer.

4) Ms. Lee may genuinely think that this is how publishing works. If so, it's because she was badly misguided.

#316 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 02:04 PM:

"how do you miss the speed-bump discontinuity where David Gemmell's prose was grafted onto Christopher Hill's"

I wasn't aware that speed-bumps were a danger of grafts, I guess the surgeon must have been working very fast. I figured the more likely giveaway would be when she saw that Christopher Hill's prose was twice the normal size.

#317 ::: Joe Rybicki ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 02:06 PM:

I've only had the time to skim most of these comments, but I have to ask even at the risk of redundancy: Am I the only one who thinks there's a very distinct possibility that Cheryl is, in fact, Christopher Hill?

Perhaps it's my overactive whatsit getting the better of me, but wouldn't it be convenient to be able to place the blame for all this upon a known scammer whose current whereabouts are unknown?

I'm tempted to go further and propose that Lanaia is also, in fact, Christopher Hill, but I can't see the upside to that particular scam.

#318 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 02:07 PM:

Among Lanaia's copious publicity blurbs elseweb, there are several citations of her previously-written short story "Identity" as the seed of Of Atlantis. For the sake of textual comparison to the non-Gemmell portions of the book, here's a link to one of the various places where she'd previously posted "Identity".

In lukewarm defense of her writing style, I can think of at least one conventionally-published book that similarly substitutes a long string of synopsis for actual narrative text that contains descriptions, conversations, plot development, and other messy details that inefficiently show instead of tell. That book was written by one of my previously favorite authors as a continuation of one of my also previously fantasy series, which had been left on hiatus for several years. I bought it in hardback. Considering that the subsequent two additions to the same series haven't gotten any better, I rather wish it had been left to a clean death instead of being artificially resuscitated into a ghastly literary zombie, but I digress.

#319 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 02:24 PM:

Ever remember, ye are the Hidden Children of the Gods. So never do anything to disgrace them. Never boast, Never threaten, Never say you would wish ill to anyone.

— Gerald Gardner, The Old Laws (1961), part of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows

#320 ::: Falco ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 02:38 PM:

Because I'm re-learning Wicca, so I don't qualify to threaten or anything else, yet. I believe she has, if not I will ask her to do so.

I think you just described the opposite of Wicca.

#321 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 03:25 PM:

I think Mark Mitchell is really Christopher Hill.

#322 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 03:40 PM:

bryan @ 303


"Monday the Rabbi Converted"?

#323 ::: Gar Lipow ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 03:53 PM:

A trivial point: in changing the name of the character from "Alexander" to "Archimedes" it rather destroys and important aspect of the work stolen from: that it was an alternate world world story about "Alexander the Great". So on top of stealing the work of another author it also vandalizes it.

#324 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 03:53 PM:

Madeleine Robins @ 286:
Not to mention that I've just come back from the bookstore with copies of Lion of Macedon and Dark Prince; I've never read them, and now I'm fascinated.

Bryan @ 316:
To bring in the requisite knitting content, you most certainly can get speed-bumps if you don't pull your yarn tight enough when grafting the toe of your sock. And very uncomfortable it is, too.

#325 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 03:58 PM:

Shawn @ 312 I have used a ghost writer with some of my work and thankfully I didn't have this happen, but unfortunately she did.

She used a ghost writer for self-published works?
...and charges a fee to clients?
Oh wait, she charges a fee to clients so that she can pay her ghost writer in order to get self-published!?
It all makes sense now.
Or not.

#326 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 04:05 PM:

I'm finally catching up on this thread after 2 or 3 days of being under-rested and over-scheduled, and I must say it's a great way to relax, kick back, and laugh at human foibles. If don marquis or Thomas Pynchon had written about Cheryl we'd have accepted it as completely consistent with their other work. Though I think Cheryl could use some of mehitabel's joy in taking her due from the world.

Cheryl's insistence on answering comments here rather than dealing with the mess she's made is the stuff of tragic drama. "Look, Prince, I think you're letting your obsession with your mother get a little out of hand. OK, so you don't get along with your uncle. That's no reason to ignore your studies and your girlfriend. Just go make up with Laertes, and for Ghu's sake quit looking for lurkers behind the arras!" But no one wants to be Guildenstern*, everybody wants to be Hamlet, the star of the show and his father's fair-haired boy, no matter what the body count at the end of the last act.


* Or the other guy, Robin Redbreast?

#327 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 04:06 PM:

Plagiarism, the drinking game


1. Vehement denial of all wrongdoing: take a sip.
2. Threatening the people who discovered/exposed the plagirism: take a sip
3. Blaming the plagiarism on stress/mental illness/physical illness/past trauma/past life trauma: take three sips.
4. Emergence of sock puppets in the guise of spouse/agent/sibling/therapist/dog groomer: take a sip.
5. Threats of internet lawyers: take a sip.
6. Appearance of internet lawyers: take a shot.
7. Appearance of internet lawyer who has no understanding of copyright law/the First Amendment/basic rules of grammar: take two shots.
8. Grudging admittance of wrongdoing and half-assed apology: take three shots.
9. Acceptance of responsibility and sincere apologies to the offended party: CHUG LIKE A FRAT BOY ON SPRING BREAK.

#328 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 04:12 PM:

Joe Rybiki @317 (inter alia):

Could Cheryl Pillsbury possibly be Christopher Hill?

Victoria Strauss describes Hill's communications as:

written in dense, convoluted prose marked by repeated errors and stylistic oddities--dropped prepositions, missing apostrophes, use of commas rather than conjunctions to link phrases

In the sections she quotes, I see many distinct markers of a slightly under-educated native speaker of British English*.

Although Cheryl's prose has one of the traits (commas rather than conjunctions), her prose is not convoluted. It is also distinctly American*, though not highly refined in any sense of the word.

So either Cheryl is Christopher, and such a master/mistress of language as to fake two entirely different styles of highly vernacular prose, or they are two separate people.

Life is not a Dickens novel; we are allowed more than one seamy character feeding off of the dreams of people who aspire to literary fame.

-----
* I am a native speaker of American English, but have spent 14 years in Britain, so I can recognise many class and educational markers in both dialects.

#329 ::: steve ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 04:29 PM:

Quick way to an interesting night, I'm tempted to read back through this with that drinking game and take them myself when any of the rules occur. I'll be in hospital come sunrise.

#330 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 04:29 PM:

Scene V
Enter ghost and Cheryl
Cheryl: Where wilt thou lead me? Speak, I'll go no further.
Ghost: Mark me.
Cheryl: I will.
Ghost: My hour is almost come. When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames must render up myself.
Cheryl: Alas, poor ghost!
Hill: Pity me not; but pay the bill I render first; that scales be balanced and scams advanced.
I am thy writer's spirit doom'd for a certain time to steal the light of others' inspiration. I could a tale unfold whose lightest word you'd ken to be like those oft writ by others. Thank me not, but pay it forward; that money paid to me be scammed alike.
Let not the high art of writing be a bed of widom and charity. But howsoever thou pursuest the mighty buck, taint not thy greed, nor let thy schemes contrive against the weaker. Not!
[exeunt scheming]

#331 ::: tasha ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 05:11 PM:

Lanaia Lee just isn't very bright, is she?

This interview was posted yesterday.

You'd think she'd have contacted them and asked them to, you know, hold off on it.

Highlight: LL: "Of Atlantis is going to be published by Roval Publishing, yes they are self-publishers, but I have a good reason, for two years I was scammed by a certain literary agency, being promised a publisher, two years is a long time, so I choose to self publish because I feel when the book is available it will do very well, my husband is my biggest critic and that’s what he thinks. I personally don’t like to self publish, now my book of poetry is entirely different, my publishers are a major publishing house In Portugal known as Barros Monteiro Editorial Publishers. You now it’s really strange, I have never taken any courses in creative writing, but yet I have came as far as most writer do in ten years in only four years."


So she's willing to play the "I wuz scammed!" card to explain why she's self-publishing, yet she has no problems doing interviews to publicize the book she paid the same scammer to write?

Part of me says she's just stupid, but at some point she has to take responsibility for what she's done.

::headdesk::

#332 ::: Sylvie G ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 05:26 PM:

#331

Good Lord ... Are these people INSANE??? ...

#333 ::: Lanaia ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 05:33 PM:

Slyvia,
I agree! In the next couple of days, you will find an apology, and my dealings with Hill and Hill Literary Agency, and a rewrite to the prologue to Of Atlantis. I'm in a wheelchair but I can stand. Be in a wheelchair for awhile, it's not very funny.

#334 ::: Hob ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 05:46 PM:

Well, the Burlington Times article seems to be gone now - it still shows up on their search page, but try to read it and you get a 404 error. So it looks like at least one person has a scrap of good judgement.

#335 ::: Tristan ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 05:47 PM:

The story-most amusing. The poetry-lovely, especially the quacking bread. But it’s Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) that made me fall off my chair laughing. Thank you for brightening my day.

Exeunt scheming, indeed.

#336 ::: Lanaia ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 05:47 PM:

Also, Of Atlantis is now on hold untill this problem is resolved

#337 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 05:48 PM:

Lanaia: Who do you think that Sylvia is referring to by "Are these people INSANE???"

Why are you spending time posting here when the plagiarized material is still displayed on your site?

If Gemmell's agents take legal action against you because of the plagiarism, one of the factors that will be considered in court is: Since you're claiming that you're an innocent dupe, what have you done to mitigate the harm since you learned the true situation? And so far, you and your agent have attacked honest people for pointing out the plagiarism, and have not taken down the plagiarized material.

#338 ::: Jackie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:01 PM:

Lanaia--
If you really put Of Atlantis on hold, take it off your website. I am sorry you were victimized by a scammer, but leaving your name attached to somebody else's writing is wrong. Using a ghostwriter is one thing. Leaving your name as author of a prologue copyrighted by somebody you admit you never even heard of, is wrong. You need to take that prologue off your website. It is not yours. Even if somebody else stole it for you, it is not yours. Leaving it up is wrong.

#339 ::: Lanaia ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:02 PM:

My web mistress has the new stuff, give her time to change it

#340 ::: Moira ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:07 PM:

Just discovered this site, and just spent something like a half hour reading this thread. I don't know what to think.

Can I just say, though, how hysterical I find it when people pull out the lawyers when they clearly have no clue how lawyers work? The tips for plagarism were posted on Dear Author on Thursday. Even if this Mary person already had a relationship with a lawyer, she wouldn't have even gotten in to see him or her yet, never mind gotten any kind of instructions back and forth about litigation or anything else. People know you can't just cold call a lawyer and see him or her that day, unless, possibly, you're calling from jail. Don't they?

#341 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:10 PM:

Is Barros Monteiro real? Most of the Google results for it are Lanaia posting about how they're publishing her poetry.

The only other results are a dead "barrosmonteiroeditorialpublishers.com" website that, when resurrected by Google Cache, shows a forum with two posts, both by Steve Whitehouse who is supposedly a poet with Barros Monteiro. One of them is an "interview" of Steve by BM, and the other isn't cached but by the post title is a "welcome to BM" by Steve.

A Google search for "Steve Whitehouse" and "Barros" only shows the forum posts. Using "poetry" instead of "Barros" shows a flash animator who I assume is a different person, and a couple of posts on a "Poetry Poetices" website. Nothing about the two-going-on-three books of poetry he's supposedly published, not even titles.

On the plus side, there weren't any results that showed Steve or Barros to be scams or frauds. I still think that this is probably another addition to the "Lanaia got taken for a ride" list, though.

#342 ::: Sylvie G ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:10 PM:

#333

Okay, Lanaia, so you're in a wheelchair. Other people are in wheelchairs and don't use that fact as an excuse to do illegal things. And yes, even though you were duped originally, continuing to present a plagiarized work as your own is illegal.

Obviously, you can type and use a computer. So why has it been days since you found out that your story was plagiarized and yet it's still posted on-line, with your name on it, portrayed as your own material? Fix that one simple thing, and then people might start taking your apologies seriously.

#343 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:12 PM:

The Barros Monteiro searches posted @ 341 were in response to the interview posted by tasha @ 331, by the way.

#344 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:14 PM:

No I'm not Christopher HIll, never met, talked or e-mailed him and never want to, he's not worth the time of day. In his case, he's worth a huge curse.

The prologue has been re-written and solved. She has written an apology and it will be posted soon. In this case, I will post an apology on my business website stating this issue.

#345 ::: Jackie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:15 PM:

Lanaia--
That's not good enough. You need to take the prologue down now. If you bought a stolen TV and asked the cops to let you keep it until you could get another TV, they would say "No." You need to take the prologue down and put the other prologue up when you have it ready. Leaving the David Gemmel prologue on your site is wrong. It is as wrong as what the scammer did to you.

#346 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:19 PM:

Abi @ 328... Life is not a Dickens novel; we are allowed more than one seamy character

We are? Bah humbug.

#347 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:39 PM:

From Cheryl Pillsbury's "Lair" *careful, pop-up heaven*
"I graduated from Billerica Memorial High School in 1978, Middlesex Community College in 1990. I received an Associates Degree in Electronics. Vampires and demons have always been my passion since I was about eight years old. I continue to study and learn something new everyday. And now, I write stories and work from home and caring for daughter and her medical needs. Someday I wish to be published and share all of my adventures with everyone who enjoys this world, and the underworld."

So.. I'm just curious Cheryl what exactly qualifies you to represent authors?

#348 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:46 PM:

Moira @ 340--I suspect that, if I called my lawyer and told him it was urgent, I could get legal help right now. This isn't because I'm rich, or have a lot of legal business: it's because he's semi-retired and I've known him all my life. You're assuming that the people invoking lawyers are cold-calling; it's possible that the lawyer in question is their cousin, old college roommate, or similar.

(Of course, if I were to call Fred and tell him, urgently, about a situation similar to Cheryl or Lanaia's, he'd probably point out that this isn't his field and tell him who else to call.)

#349 ::: Jackie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 06:51 PM:

Lanaia--
If you want to keep up your pretense as an innocent stroke survivor, take down the prologue. You just flunked my little test. In my real life, I deal with REAL stroke survivors and you are messing up your best and only defense.

Oh, and Cheryl, what an amazing person you are, playing with peoples' hopes and dreams and acting as intermediary where none is needed. Scum of the earth.

#350 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:09 PM:

One day, ONE DAY, to do laundry and clean house and such, and I come back to... a trainwreck is too simple and the Titanic too small. It's like having a front row seat to Krakatoa.
Ye gods. Haven't these folks heard the old saw about "when you're in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging?"

#351 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:13 PM:

Cheryl #344:

"In his case, he's worth a huge curse."

Thus making him exactly the opposite of you.

#352 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:20 PM:

Roval Publishing, to the best of my knowledge, has never actually published a book.

#353 ::: Jeremy Preacher ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:23 PM:

Having worked for a number of creative, intelligent people who were perfectly comfortable sending email and posting on forums, yet hadn't the faintest idea of how any of these interweb-things actually worked, I'm not surprised that the text in question hasn't been taken down - the task is almost certainly being handled by a third party who doesn't necessarily feel a sense of urgency about it.

That being said, I *still* don't get the sense that the principles understand why everyone's so worked up about things...

#354 ::: Eleanor ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:34 PM:

Give Lanaia a break. It's very possible that she doesn't know how to alter her own website and must wait for someone else to help her out. She should, however, be prodding that person right now.

Is it possible Christopher Hill didn't write Atlantis Nights either? If I was an unscrupulous scam agent, rather than go to the trouble I'd copy an MS from one of my other clients. In which case, there's someone out there somewhere who thinks it's okay to steal from David Gemmell and who is now getting their comeuppance, but is probably unaware of it. Wouldn't that add another sick layer of complexity to this mess?

Oh, and Ryoval Publishing? They're trying to get Admiral Naismith to send them his memoirs - it's part of a convoluted plot to capture him, which is their entire raison d'etre.

#355 ::: Jackie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:47 PM:

Eleanor #354--She was able to remove a lot of very negative messages from her website just yesterday.

#356 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:48 PM:

See what happens when you turn periods into commas: an Associates Degree in Electronics, Vampires and demons. Now that's a degree I'd want to study for. And not screw up on the practical.

#357 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:50 PM:

Jim @352
It appears that Roval does indeed have one book published at least: here

Err, or is that via Lulu.com?

The first page shows: Roval Publishing Company, North Richland Hills, TX --- this matches with the Roval telly number area code 214 (full contact number: 214-347-7586 (residential line)) right about yonder.
So "the most advanced digital, self-publishing company in the US and the UK" is actually publishing through lulu.com?

So Cheryl takes money from authors and offers them services to get them published by Roval --- who again takes money from authors and offers them services so that they can get published through lulu?

#358 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:53 PM:

Eleanor @ 354

What a relief! For a brief, horrified moment there I was afraid they were planning to publish the Baron's memoirs. There are some things humans were not meant to know.

#359 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 07:59 PM:

I misspoke.

Roval has indeed published a book. Via Lulu.com.

Here it is.

ISBN 978-0-6151-4305-7

#360 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 08:01 PM:

Oh now I'm really confused as to who's in charge of Roval Publishing... is it http://stores.lulu.com/jerry_adams ... Jeremy.Adams@RovalPublishing.net? Or is it Jeromil Valencia, publisher of this fine market guide for your success in publishing?

#361 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 08:03 PM:

From the now-deleted Burlington Times article:

Mary is working on five books, and the first, titled “Of Atlantis,” will be released on barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com sometime in November, said Jerry Adams, publishing executive for Roval Publishing Company in North Richland Hills, Texas.
#362 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 08:03 PM:

.. a book on ethical marketing?

Alright, is Alan Funt's Ghost hiding in the bushes?

#363 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 08:05 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) #358: The Baron's memoirs....

"I was born, as Richard Bruce Cheney, in the province of Wyoming on Earth, near Jackson's Hole. Later, when I had a whole planet to mold, I named it, whimsically as is my wont, after my favorite spot on Old Earth."

#364 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 08:31 PM:

Fragano @ 363

Well, that might explain a few things about Darth Cheney (like the heart in the jar on the desk in his undisclosed location, or the undisclosed location itself). I didn't think that technology was quite that advanced, though.

#365 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 08:57 PM:

That guide to successful marketing is available as a free download from Lulu: http://stores.lulu.com/jerry_adams (in addition to being available as a $6.93 hardcopy book). It's just a price-list for their marketing products.

They advertise spam email, among other things. For a $1K setup fee and $500/month they'll spam half-a-million addresses. For a mere fourteen-hundred bucks and six months lead time, they'll set up a booksigning for you! Oh, and for $1K they'll write a "professional review" of your book and submit it to the New York Times, San Francisco Examiner, Philadelphia Enquirer, Chicago Sun-Times, and Dallas Morning News. Exactly how they're going to get those papers to print the reviews they fail to mention.

This document has to be seen to be believed.

I think these guys have moved from the Yet-Another-Clueless-POD-Vanity-Press basement to a whole new level.

#366 ::: Daybert ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:00 PM:

@333

Slyvia,
I agree! In the next couple of days, you will find an apology, and my dealings with Hill and Hill Literary Agency, and a rewrite to the prologue to Of Atlantis. I'm in a wheelchair but I can stand. Be in a wheelchair for awhile, it's not very funny.

Nice! Just when I thought nothing more pathetic and stupid could be said. Look, if you were to actually re-write the prologue, what would it accomplish? You still would have to write the entire book by yourself. Now I'm just really inclined to believe that there are people out there, including you of course, who just want to see their names on the cover of a book no matter what. I'm telling you, folks; just pathetic. Yikez!

#367 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:05 PM:

@JKRichard #357: The area code for North Richland Hill is 817. That could be a cell number, which would cover the entire DFW area (and then some) without tolls.

#368 ::: Lanaia ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:06 PM:

Pathetic? I fired Christopher before I finshed the book. He was there for the prologue and chapters 1-4, the rest IS mine

#369 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:14 PM:

Elanor:

Oh, and Ryoval Publishing? They're trying to get Admiral Naismith to send them his memoirs - it's part of a convoluted plot to capture him, which is their entire raison d'etre.

And I was assuming they specialized in medical texts. Very short print runs, mainly sold in New England, Transylvania, and possibly a drugstore in Chicago...

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers):

See what happens when you turn periods into commas: an Associates Degree in Electronics, Vampires and demons. Now that's a degree I'd want to study for. And not screw up on the practical.

Sounds like Job Fair day for The Laundry, doesn't it? Paging Bob Howard...

#370 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:16 PM:

Lanaia @ 368 - Don't you mean "fired Christopher before HE finished the book?" And since he's written more than just what we've seen... have you checked chapters 1-4 for more plagiarized passages yet? You might want to ask someone familiar who would recognize such things to read it over for you.

Note: NOT Cheryl. She is obviously either not someone who would recognize such things, or she's someone who WOULD but actively ignored it when she read your book six times, or she never actually read your book.

I would suggest asking some of the more sympathetic people in this thread; perhaps Ilona Andrews (who noticed the prologue plagiarism), or Victoria Strauss, who is one of those who believes you were duped rather than duplicitous.

#371 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:20 PM:

Barros & Montiero are also highly questionable. Several people (including myself) have pointed this out to Lanaia. I'm sorry to see how far this has gone.

If nothing else, I hope this whole unfortunate incident will keep some other new writers from falling into traps like this.

If there are other new writers reading this- I know how tempting it is to listen to someone who tells you your work is wonderful, and promises to help you get it in print. If I hadn't been lucky enough to meet some pros early on, I might've listened to the scammers too. But remember Yog's Law: "Money flows TO the writer!"

#372 ::: Daybert ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:23 PM:

Lanaia @368

Even if Hill wrote only what you said, it is still pathetic because you claimed the book was completely yours when it really wasn't. "The Edgar Alan Poe of the Modern Age?" LMAO! Who the hell gave you that title?

#373 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:34 PM:

That new interview blogpost has a "review payperpost" link at the bottom -- does that mean that Lanaia or Cheryl paid for the interview, or just that the blogger is willing to pay for links?

I'm beginning to think we should be charging for talking about them and the book.

#374 ::: tasha ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:42 PM:

Even if Lanaia cannot take the excerpt down from her own personal web site, she could be taking it down from the multitude of forums to which she posted it, or at the very least editing those posts to remove the excerpt and replace it with an apology.

She's made no effort to remove it from the web anywhere she's posted it.

#375 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:51 PM:

@373 Todd Larason: That Pay Per Post button is for their Review My Post service. The idea is that on PPP member can review another's post and get paid. That service seems to be kind of controversial, but that's neither here nor there. That button is not an indication that someone paid for the interview.

#376 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 09:55 PM:

Or, they might have paid. Check out this page on the site containing the interview.


They'll do a free product review in exchange for a link, or a paid review for $10. I'm not suggesting they paid; just pointing out that the site offers a paid service.

#377 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 11:18 PM:

#313: <snicker>

#327: I'd think a genuine apology would be "game over" -- or was that the point?

Sylvia: "Brain-damaged" != "insane". In this case, I can't decide whether calling her insane is charitable or uncharitable.

#378 ::: Writerious ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 11:26 PM:

Let me see if I have this straight:

A woman hires a ghostwriter at $400 per month to write a book...
Hires a fee-charging agent to sell the book...
And said agent "sells" the book to a vanity publisher...

Damn, if I weren't so honest, I could make a killing by posing as all three scammers at once.

Lania, honey, if you're still following this thread, please, please, PLEASE go to the library and bring home an armload of books on how to write a novel, how to get published by a real publisher, and how the publishing industry works. I wish someone would have given you that advice several years ago. It would have saved you tens of thousands of dollars and a mountain of heartache.

And Ms. Pillsbury -- for pity's sake, can you honestly look your clients in the eye and tell them that you'll be their agent in a deal with a VANITY PUBLISHER?!?! Like they can't deal with the vanity themselves? Like there's anything to negotiate? "Agent," my Aunt Fanny!

#379 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2007, 11:49 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 363

Super villain, indeed! Just as well Halliburton is mostly into construction and logistics; I shudder to think what he could have done if they were a biotech company.

#380 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 12:50 AM:

Writerious @ 379 A woman hires a ghostwriter at $400 per month to write a book...
Hires a fee-charging agent to sell the book...
And said agent "sells" the book to a vanity publisher...

...and let's not forget: said vanity publisher only has one title published with an ISBN and it's through Lulu.com

#381 ::: Alma Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 12:52 AM:

Lanaia #368
Pathetic? I fired Christopher before I finshed the book. He was there for the prologue and chapters 1-4, the rest IS mine.

1) What does "the rest" mean, precisely, then?
2) If you were capable or willing to write this book why did you hire a ghostwriter at all?
3) After this fiasco, how seriously do you think anyone is going to take this book?
4)I return to what I said previously and I still think is your last best hope. ERASE ALL THIS. These books never happened for you. You've already "changed" your name to Lanaia Lee - change it again to something quite different, and if you really want to write a book... lady... go and write one. A DIFFERENT one. Something new and untainted by this train wreck. Ditch Cheryl, ditch Roval, ditch ghostwriters. No more excuses, no more throwing up disabilities for not doing the work, and by this stage I think you should have learned that it is a perilous path indeed to pay someone to publish your book before you've at the very least checked their credentials - and if you are capable of posting to Web forums you are capable of using Google with sufficient google-fu to do this.

I tell you this, once, twice, three times - the only way to be a writer is to write. Giving interviews to a local paper and seeing them calling you "an author" does not MAKE you one. Only writing a book does.

In the words Richard Bach, from a wonderful little book called "Illusions" (you should read it, maybe) - "You are never given a dream without the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however." The emphasis is mine. THe message is simple - if you truly have a dream, roll up your sleeves (metaphorically speaking) and get your own hands dirty. No amount of posturing and pleading and giving interviews to the press will take the place of this work.

That's it. In a nutshell. Make a choice.

#382 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:15 AM:

Alright, is Alan Funt's Ghost hiding in the bushes?

I think we are far enough inside the Twilight Zone to suspect that it's Rod Serling's.

#383 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:29 AM:

Alma, that's great advice, and well-put.

#384 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 02:12 AM:

Lanaia; it is still up. You said hours ago it was going to be fixed soon.
I was trying to be sympathetic.
The fact that you cannot take the advice of people who truly want to be sympathetic tells me you are seeking attention.

That is a problem.
I'm loosing my sympathy rapidly.
~If Cheryl is your 'friend' why is she charging you money? Friends don't do that. People who do that are called con artists.
~You contacted V. Strauss in JUNE. Yet knowingly let the work be put up.

Don't blame it on being in a wheelchair; I think you would be surprised at how many here have been in a difficult spot. Calling out I'm Disabled! Pity me! means jack shit. I know a gentleman who writes great stories and is almost blind. I have never heard him use that as an excuse or to get sympathy.

That is why I am disgusted with your actions.
Take down the offending work. If you have someone else doing it why are you not riding their asses about fixing the site?

With all this negative attention why are you continuing to pursue this project which is tainted?
or is it because of the attention?

#385 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 02:14 AM:

oh, my bad Cheryl stated it would be fixed soon.

#386 ::: Eva Lynn ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 02:39 AM:

[...] and a rewrite to the prologue to Of Atlantis. I'm in a wheelchair but I can stand. Be in a wheelchair for awhile, it's not very funny.

Oddly enough, 'Lanaia', I suspect several of us have '[been] in a wheelchair for a while', and yet we still somehow manage not to resort to plagiarism! Amazing... yet true. Can you do the rest of us a favour and quit making us look bad?

Incidentally, I've been a webmistress. If yours can't get a page offline for you urgently within 12 hours at the outside (assuming she'd just gone to sleep when you sent the message)? Fire her. Removing that prologue from your site's a five minute job, if that.

#387 ::: Charlene ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:39 AM:

You know, I'm disabled. I have a brain injury from a fall. I have disabling headaches, can't add two and three without a calculator, and slur, stammer, and drool when I speak. I have never written a novel.

I still know enough not to plagiarize. I still know enough not to hire an agent or a publisher who requires payment in advance. I know enough to say "I'm sorry" when I screw up, NOT "I'm sorry but", which is not an apology but an excuse.

If the author is disabled enough that she could not understand the nature of the contracts she has signed, her guardian should look into whether the scammers can be charged criminally. If she is able to understand the nature, however, I think she bears some responsibility for this. But we can't really know on the Internet, can we?

#388 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:50 AM:

Nearly 400 comments, and no one mentions Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky?

Let no one else's work evade your eyes,
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes,
So don't shade your eyes,

And so on.

#389 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:59 AM:

Only be sure to call it, please, research.

#390 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 05:31 AM:

With Laiania Lee playing part of Hypotenuse ?

#391 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 05:43 AM:

More like the obtuse angle.

#392 ::: Lanaia ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:17 AM:

Only my web mistress can change my web site and she has all the new info, I have done nothing wrong, so my career continues. I know this will gripe you, in a way your helping Of Atlantis to become popular

#393 ::: Vassilissa ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:30 AM:

Lanaia, do you like reading? What sort of books do you usually read? Who are your favourite authors? Who publishes them? What do you like about those books?

I'm asking this seriously.

And I have another serious question for you: you say you've done nothing wrong, so your career continues. If you had done something wrong, would it have to stop there?

Have there been times in your life before when you have done something you think was wrong? I'm not asking this to suggest that you're a bad person - everyone sometimes does things they'd rather not have done. What I want to know is what you did afterwards.

If you did something wrong, what would you do when you realised it was wrong?

#394 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:39 AM:

Lanaia doesn't know it yet, but she has stepped outside of the world she knew - or should I say, the world she thought she knew - and has come to another place entirely. It is a place of skewed perceptions and reversed reality, a place where the impossible and the unbelievable has become something she knows to be true.

Do not try to adjust your set. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical. You have taken leave of the world of reality and ordinary understanding. You have entered ... the Twilight Zone.

#395 ::: Eva Lynn ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:10 AM:

Only my web mistress can change my web site

Like I said, it doesn't take very long. If she 'has the info' and hasn't done it already, either you haven't told her it's urgent, or she's a crappy webmistress and you should fire her and hire someone who'll do the job.

Or else you're lying and you don't have any intention of taking it down. Frankly, that's my bet.

#396 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:37 AM:

Lanaia, "I have done nothing wrong" misses half the point. What a lot of us are trying to tell you is that you have been foolish, and wasted a tremendous quantity of money and effort that you didn't need to. You didn't need a ghost writer, and you didn't need a fee fee-charging agent, and you didn't need a fee-charging publisher. You have given others a great deal of money to no avail whatsoever. That's money you could have had to spend on your own comfort and wellbeing, charity, whatever you chose.

If you need help writing, it's available for free. Andrew Burt's Critters workshop, for instance, has helped writers get a whole lot of stories and novels published by respectable publishers who pay you rather than the other way around. (His resources page there is also great - it takes you to a huge quantity of advice on research, writing, and publication from talented amateurs and famous professionals.) Victoria Strauss, of course, you know from her work exposing the fraud committed in your name; you would do well to review the backlog of other posts by her and A.C. Crispin to understand not just specific scams and tricks but the underlying principles, the kinds of things predators and con artists do in the world of publishing. And, of course, the couple who write this weblog here edit some of the best sf and fantasy writers in the world, and the home page for Making Light has dozens of links to people with wise and interesting things to say about creating prose.

Lanaia, you've been used badly...but the way you write about now makes you sound like someone who was ready to be used, and still is. You've been scammed in two different ways: it's not just the money you threw away, but audience. You haven't been dealing with legitimate publishers; your work (insofar as it was your work) wouldn't have ever been seen by more than a tiny handful of people, most of them your fellow victims in that type of scam. What you say right here is being read by many thousands of people, and the same would be true of your contributions in a good workshop. If your work ever reaches honestly publishable condition, it'll go out to a real audience, too.

But right now you're conducting yourself like someone ready to fall for the next appealing-sounding scheme. What makes a writer isn't publication but writing. Write. If writing is your calling, serve it well with the best craft you can. Improve your grammar. Practice. If you want some useful advice on the practicalities of writing, try the Writer's Digest Elements of Fiction series of books, in which successful authors explain the nuts and bolts of subjects like characterization & viewpoint, plotting, effective beginnings, middles, & ends, dialogue, and the like. Read...and then write. Write more. Keep writing. Study up on scams and predators...and write. Seek out honest evaluations...and write. Write. Learn how legitimate publishing works, and when you feel ready, submit...and in the meantime, write.

You clearly have enthusiasm and desire. Please, Lanaia, don't do things that will make you the subject of another analysis of a scam in a year, or three, or five. If you truly want to be an author, want it enough to earn it legitimately, and want it enough to want it free of scam and sleaze. And in the meantime, write.

#397 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:44 AM:

I actually wonder if there's much further point in this conversation. Either she's too impaired to understand, or she's determined not to. Either way, it's pretty clear no actual information is getting across.

#398 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:46 AM:

Oh, yeah, one other thing I forgot to add:

In the modern era of the Internet, it's possible to have a huge audience without ever going through the traditional publication process. There are LiveJournal communities that host stories read by thousands of people. Some fan fiction sites get more. Workshops like Critters have huge pools of contributors and readership. One of the reasons scams like for-fee publishing work is because people get hung up on tokens of accomplishment rather than the thing they symbolize.

Books are neat - I have thousands of them myself, including ones with my name on them, and I'm not proposing to give them up. But the books are only vessels, carrying my words (and the work of everyone else who makes a book happen, including editor, illustrators, designers, and on) to the reader. In some cases, I can do as well to reach the real people I want to share a thought and prose with some other way. The fundamentals still apply, like "If you're paying for it, money is moving in the wrong direction." But it's worth looking around sometimes to see what others who have a particular kind of tale to tell are doing to tell it. The universe of ways of sharing that aren't just scams and hustles is very large these days.

#399 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:48 AM:

Patrick, I do admit that I see myself as sort of writing for the gallery here. I usually assume that for any non-troll poster, there's someone thinking the same kind of thing but not yet posting about it.

#400 ::: Simon Bradshaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 08:39 AM:

This is, if Gemmell fans will excuse the pun, fast becoming the stuff of legend. It calls for a short, snappy name for when we regale youngsters with tales of it in the years to come.

I propose "GemmellGate".

#401 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 09:33 AM:

#378: Damn, if I weren't so honest, I could make a killing by posing as all three scammers at once.

A new verse for "My God, how the money rolls in"?


#402 ::: Bernita ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 09:40 AM:

Re: Lanaia's last.
Seems, among myriad other things, she also confuses notoriety with reputation.

#403 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 10:06 AM:

Bernita @ 402

Or confuses notoriety with fame.

#404 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 10:31 AM:

My uncle's an agent for writers
He'll represent you for some tin
My aunt runs the press that he sells to
My Ghod how the money rolls in.

#405 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 10:45 AM:

P J Evans #364: Indeed!

#406 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 10:59 AM:

Eva Lynn @ 395 - my theory is that Lanaia didn't try to get the sample text taken down until she was ready to replace it - which is a definite sign of Not Catching Clue. I don't think either Lanaia or her webmaster see taking down the original text as any kind of priority.

I do foresee entertainment when the replacement text does go up: I predict the replacement text is going to be just a high-school attempt to file the serial numbers off the original chapters.

#407 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:01 AM:

I lie to aspiring writers
they pay me so much it's a sin;
I do the whole thing without conscience,
my god how the money rolls in!

#408 ::: Jane ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:17 AM:

@406 - Are you in email correspondence with Lee because I am pretty sure that's exactly what is going on. Having seen the revised portion, it is a fairly incoherent paraphrasing of the original Gemmell material.

I've told Ms. Lee that while the revision might not be a copyright infringement, it might still be considered plagiarism. I've told her that by claiming the plagiaristic material as her own, even if it is was ghostwritten, still makes her responsible. I've encouraged her to seek counsel other than from Cheryl Pillsbury and Pillsbury's "attorney".

I think Lee thinks that because Hill scammed her, she bears no responsibility in this endeavor. She doesn't really acknowledge that she engaged in any misrepresentations such as in the interview with Burlington Times.

Nothing is getting through to Lee or Pillsbury and I don't think anything will.

#409 ::: Eva Lynn ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:24 AM:

#408: Nothing is getting through to Lee or Pillsbury and I don't think anything will.

Well, on the bright side(?), I suppose if Lee has so much money to burn on scam artists, at least she might be able to afford the eventual judgement against her if/when Gemmell's estate sues.

@406: You're likely right, on both counts.

#410 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:38 AM:

I know this will gripe you, in a way your helping Of Atlantis to become popular

Here's the thing - if people here wished you ill, they would be hoping for Of Atlantis to become "popular".

Because up to this point, you've arguably represented someone else's work as your own through a series of (implausible, but possible) misunderstandings. Now, you acknowledge that you know you're representing someone else's work as your own, and you've chosen to continue doing so.

If someone buys it, you've sold something which you admit you have the right to sell, almost certainly across state lines.

If anyone here was out to get you, they'd be shipping copies to their friends.

#411 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:40 AM:

^don't^ have. Don't mind me.

#412 ::: Ian Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:58 AM:

Well talk about kick a fellow when they are down Its like watching a pack of savage hounds ripping the throat out the one that strayed from the pack You criticize because she employed a ghost writer are you telling me this does not happen and yes she was a little foolish to not keep a tighter check but she is not the first to be conned and she will not be the last her work has given so much pleasure to readers all over the world yet you don't take that into consideration and the vile insults about her disability's I thought it was only the Brits who were so callus may be you could all do with a little humility

#413 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 12:04 PM:

Ian: First, please learn about punctuation. This isn't being fussy - it's a well-documented fact that punctuation and capitalization have a really significant effect on readers' understanding and retention of a passage's meaning.

Second: When leading professionals try to help someone understand what they did wrong, how to avoid it in the future, and how to achieve success as a writer without being scammed, that's not picking on them. That's generosity. Scam artists offer inferior advice, with fewer qualifications for it, and charge big bucks. Generous pros and fans do it for free. If you and/or Lanaia, assuming for the moment you are two different people, don't get the difference, then you do deserve what comes next.

#414 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 12:08 PM:

Bear in mind that, at least according to the most recent interview link posted (#331), that Ms. Lee tells us she "came as far as most writer do in ten years in only four years", and then tells us above in #392 that her career continues (presumably along a similar path as it had previously).

I must sadly confess to you all that my own very small writing career, in approximately that same four year window, has left my reputation and integrity intact, is running in the black, and I've very stupidly sat down and ground out all my words one by one (sometimes even going back and changing or rearranging them!) all by my lonesome self. I can see now how short-sighted and foolish I have been, and how many hours of my life this writing has consumed when it could have been better spent on interviews and writing big fat checks to helpful scammers who could have made me "popular". Oh, woe is I!

I console myself by abandoning this conversation for a little while so that I can sit once again at my computer and write more words the hard way, having obviously learned nothing...

#415 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 12:11 PM:

Scam artists offer inferior advice, with fewer qualifications for it, and charge big bucks. Generous pros and fans do it for free.

... No, that's too easy.

#416 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 12:13 PM:

Suzanne, you selfish toad. There are starving scam artists going to bed without any pilfered lucre at all, and you sit there with income. How dare you withhold it from them? Have you no sympathy for the plight of the morals-deprived? Open your wallet and give generously!

Now I need to get to work too; got an outline I should finish today.

#417 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 12:19 PM:

Joel, you are a bad, bad man. Thank you for the laugh. Making Light does teach one caution in phrasing.

#418 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 12:28 PM:

I have read this complete board and still I come back to my original question.

When Ms. Lee received her manuscript back from the ghostwriter, did she not read through it to make sure he hadn't changed her voice?

I don't know anything about using a ghostwriter, but I do know my style of writing as I am sure every writer does as well.

Something seems amiss here.

Susan

#419 ::: Ian Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 12:55 PM:

Hey I don't profess to be a writer or particularly well educated and the first thing you pick on is my Punctation I now understand were the venom comes from is this only for the well educated or perhaps the reading public are not welcome to leave there comments and I am totally amazed you can not tell the difference if only I had half her talent it makes me wonder how you sit in judgment perhaps you may do a search om me

#420 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:04 PM:

Ian Williamson

Please learn to use punctuation, because what you've written so far in your comments (both of them) is, to put it bluntly, unreadable. (It's also fairly incoherent, but that's a different problem.)

#421 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:06 PM:

This is a side issue, but something I'd really like to know. Several comments above made Lulu.com sound very shady, but a previous thread made it sound like an OK place for my Mom to send a family history and get a few copies printed and bound up, with no delusions of wide distribution via Barnes & Noble, etc.

Should we avoid Lulu like the plague? If so, is there a reasonable alternative?

#422 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:16 PM:

My sense of Lulu.com is that they're a perfectly respectable operation. If you've got a book, a CD, a mouse pad, or a mug, they'll manufacture it for you at a decent rate, without putting forth any vanity-press-style claims to offer marketing services, distribution, etc.

Viable Paradise alum and occasional ML commenter Mur Lafferty works for them. Everything I've heard about them makes them seem like an honest business.

Jim Macdonald can probably tell you more; they produced the print edition of Atlanta Nights.

#423 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:20 PM:

Susan @ 418... I do know my style of writing as I am sure every writer does as well.

I wonder what the Voice of my writing is like... Groucho, Harpo (honk!) and Chico all rolled into one, maybe?

#424 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:21 PM:

Patick... How does FictionWise.com operate?

#425 ::: Jane ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:26 PM:

Serge, I don't believe you can get a book on Fictionwise.com without a history of previously released books:

"minimum of 10 reprints that are either novels published by established print publishers (not vanity presses or similar outfits that charge the author)"

Link here

#426 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:31 PM:

I don't think there's anything wrong with lulu.com; AFAIK they're a straightforward print-on-demand shop and don't pretend to be anything else. For certain types of publication, they're completely suitable.

But as with any PoD, publication with them isn't much of a "credential" per se; one cannot assume that the published material is reliable, honest, or in any sense "good". It's a little like some of the quack herbal medicines that I've seen advertised as having been "included in the Physician's Desk Reference!" Getting something into the PDR is merely a matter of paying the publisher to include it -- there's no peer review or anything like that -- but being able to say that the thing is in print lends it an aura of credibility to the large number of people who don't know about the business.

#427 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:36 PM:

Jane @ 425... Thanks for the link. I'll look some more into it then mention it to my wife. She is professionally published and has quite a few novels out there so she'd meet their requirements. She also has a few novellas that went out-of-print and I think it's a shame that they did.

#428 ::: Darlene Marshall ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:45 PM:

Ian, punctuation counts. Spelling counts. Grammar counts. If anyone's ever told you these things are not important, he or she's done you a disservice. People who care about writing will not respond positively to someone who ignores the basics.

#429 ::: green_knight ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 01:52 PM:

Faren @421:

lulu.com is not to blame for any of the kerfuffle.

They are, as far as anyone can make out, completely honest: they let you upload a file and take a reasonable percentage of the price for themselves. They will do print runs of one, they have a website that is geared towards readers as much as writers, and they don't sell you $$$$ services or charge 'setup fees' goinig into hundreds and thousands of dollars, with the quality of service usually much poorer than what you would see from a reputable freelance editor/copy editor/book designer.

In short, they compare extremely favorably with any other vanity publisher. What *is* interesting is that here is a vanity publisher - Royal - who uses another vanity publisher - lulu - to produce the physical book - quite probably because they can't be bothered to find a POD printer willing to deal with them.

#430 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 02:00 PM:

re 412: looks like someone's opened the sock drawer.

#431 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 02:02 PM:

Faren Miller (421): I think the criticisms were not of Lulu (which did I wonderful job on the family history volume I had printed two years ago), but of the fact that Roval claims to be a publisher, but released its book through another source.

#432 ::: bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 02:04 PM:

The scummy thing about agents claiming to represent people, and taking money to have their books printed via lulu.com, is that you don't need any intermediary to deal with lulu (or Cafe Press, or similar short-run digital printers geared towards self-publishing comic books like ComiXpress and Kablam) - they're set up so that any individual can send them files and buy copies of the books. They even have help for people who have never set up their own pdf files for printing, don't know what "bleed" means, etc.

It's as if I promised special delivery of something, charged you a courier's fee (perhaps with a "discount") and then took it to FedEx or Airborn or UPS and sent it overnight, and pocketed the extra hundreds of dollars. FedEx etc aren't in any way to blame - they did what they were paid to do - but you could have as easily gone down to the box yourself, and for a lot less money, and you didn't get the exclusive, personally-protected and hand-carried service you thought you were getting.

(Ian thinking that punctuation is an elite invention designed to squelch creativity and oppress the masses is an extra burst of candy from this pinata...)

#433 ::: archy ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 02:15 PM:

to mister ian williamson
you are quite correct
punctuation is very much over rated
and as long as the lettres and are
words in correct order and speeled
something close to what you mean
what harm is there in an
idiosyncratic
text style

besides
as we cockroaches know
with our gymnastic efforts at
the keyboard
punctuation hurts
your pal, -ow- -ow-
archy

#434 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 02:24 PM:

#423 Serge

Thanks for the laugh. I needed that.
S

#435 ::: AJ Hall ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 02:42 PM:

Ian Williamson(412)

As I'm British, may I request a clarification here? Are you accusing me and my fellow citizens of being cruel and heartless, or simply of being covered in hard skin as a result of repeated abrasion in a particular place? It makes a real difference to my proposed response.

#436 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 02:44 PM:

It's my understanding that publishing something through Lulu also doesn't get you tied up in contracts or weird copyright tomfoolery. You could theoretically publish something through them and then a week later have it accepted for publication by, say, Tor, with no problem. Whereas with PublishAmerica and, I assume, Roval, once you fall into their web, you're kinda stuck.

Is this by and large correct?

#437 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:01 PM:

Ian's web page reveals this personal philosophy (no punctution or coherency here, either, so he's not just doing it for us):
"Life is a long road and every so often one needs a new pair of boots to Carry on or kick them out of the way When people try to stop you because there are no free bus passes"

His favorite book is LotR (movie, too), he likes the Beatles, beer, fishing and gardening. He's married to someone he calls "my lovely gaffer". (It does sound like he married his grandfather, but I'm sure it's just an unusual nickname." (Drat! Now I've got I'm My Own Grandpa running through my head. My band does it. Not exactly traditional Irish, but always a crowdpleaser, especially in Georgia.)

It seems to me that on another day, in other circumstances, Lanaia, Ian and even Cheryl could have started posting on ML and fit it. Maybe they think they do.

BTW, it looks like Roval has two titles.
Resposible Marketing looks like a self-published textbook by a Jesuit professor in Detroit. The Marketing Guide (download for free) is an extended advertisement for vanity publishing and promotion with Roval. Changing "Jeromil Valencia" to the more-pronouncable-and-spellable-by-Americans "Jerry Adams" for professional reasons makes perfect sense.

#438 ::: Christine ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:07 PM:

I used Lulu for a family history book last year. As long as you can format the book to .pdf, you're golden.

No contract, no minimums, no fuss. Perfect for such things as family histories and recipe books and the like.

Ian...punctuation helps us to understand you more clearly, that's all. Read about the panda who eats, shoots, and leaves if you don't believe me.

#439 ::: Ian Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:09 PM:

Thank you archy has a matter of fact the comments did hurt and a do have arthritis and do tend to hit the wrong keys and this one kind comment is much appreciated .

now A.J.Hall I to am British with a disabled wife and have experienced the verbal abuse of my fellow country men quote shift your wheelchair ,you should be put down, you should not be allowed out .
I could go on but I will grant one thing for every ten that abuse there is one who will stand shoulder to shoulder with you .

So I am sorry if you don't like the way I write But In this world one is still allowed to have an opinion after all isn't this what comment boxes are for

Ian

#440 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:14 PM:

#439: Oh, God. They really think we're stupid..

Isn't it time to reveal some IP addresses?

#441 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:37 PM:

I, too, used Lulu earlier this year (for a collection), and I think Patrick's calling it "manufacturing" rather than "publishing" ("they'll manufacture it for you at a decent rate") is spot-on. There are no contracts or minimums; it's a very specific service that doesn't actually include many others. So far as I know, there are no options for production or editing; when it comes to books, they accept .pdf files they print (or have a converter). I'm pretty certain that, unlike most other POD options (BookSurge, PA, et al.), there are no options to pay an editor or get a cover designed or the like.

What I basically found is that the more you know what you're doing (I had some editing experience of trade publications, and knew lay-out/design software like Quark, InDesign, and Photoshop well), the better will be the ultimate product. In addition, there are interesting distribution/availability options (I opted not to use an ISBN, which means, nope, can't get my collection anywhere but there. But if you go there, you can get most of the stories in the collection as free downloads).

I've been pleased, but I'm also in a unique situation, what with grad school and the resources to which I have access. As with all such things, mileage varies. Lulu can be used well, or it can be used pretty badly.

#442 ::: dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:44 PM:

Thanks, Will #441; I have a minor project that Lulu sounds like a good fit for. ...and since I have my copy of Atlanta Nights <g>, I have a good idea of their quality of production.

#443 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:45 PM:

Watching this is like watching the cats play with a new felt mouse stuffed with nip. Bat it around for a bit then savage rip, happy acrobatics, followed by floor hockey and it ends with the tattered remains brought to your feet with big eager pleading eyes of "Make it wiggle for us mum."

With Lulu they are the printer and you are the publisher.

#444 ::: Simon Bradshaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:52 PM:

Ian,

I'm also British, and for many years I had a wheelchair-bound wife. I too get very cross with prejudice against the disabled, or even the thoughtlessness with which they're often treated. (For one thing, just because someone is in a wheelchair, it does not mean that they are numb from the chest down. Sometimes, quite the opposite.)

But - and this is a big but - it also really upsets me when people try to use disability as an excuse for laziness or dishonesty, because this is what often encourages the sort of attitudes you complain about. The problem that a lot of people around here have with Lanaia is that she seems to be saying "I'm disabled, so I shouldn't be held to normal standards of behavior." That's not just rubbish, it's extremely insulting to disabled people everywhere.

#445 ::: A Wellwisher ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 03:53 PM:

Lanaia, I've just read through all of the comments above with increasing sadness.

I've known you a little through your posting on my own poetry site and I have not found you to be objectionable at all there. I feel so sorry about what has happened to you, being scammed as you were and paying out good money to a con man who seems in the first place to have first taken advantage of your dream and then subsequently betrayed you in the most despicable way.

And, your agent it seems to me has not made things better. I'm afraid her perhaps well-meaning attempts to shield you from attack have only made her look arrogant and aggressive when a proper handling would have been to soberly address each issue and deal with it responsibly and quickly.

That the offending piece still remains open to view on the web is very hard for everyone to understand. Plagiarism is an extremely serious offence punishable by law. This piece should have vanished from the web at the very moment the truth was discovered by both others and yourself.

From my limited knowledge of you I believe you to be a decent person but I think you would admit you are right out of your depth here. I would urge you to take the advice of Bruce Baugh up above to heart. You have every right to experience the greatest joy in your writing and I am sure you can again once you manage to get all concerned to do the right thing.

And the first thing is to have them remove every trace of the handiwork of Mr Hill that is on the web in your name.

Take care.

All the best,

Allan

#446 ::: Ian Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 04:14 PM:

hello Simon

I accept all you say it is difficult to stand by and listen to unnecessary abuse of the disable especially when you suffer it on a daily bases or at least every time we are out.

I would add how ever whether or not she did or did not commit this act the things I have read hear have already found guilty and executed her with out trial.
and may I thank you for not criticising my punctuation

my respects
Ian Paul

#447 ::: Jackie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 04:21 PM:

#388--Owlmirror--I was waiting for Lobachefsky,too.

#419--Ian Williamson,I have inflammatory arthritis of the female (and I'd like to know who names these things!). My hands are the most affected after my knees. But I still can use punctuation. I misuse it a lot, too, but can't blame the dear old arthritis. I have the fingers of somebody 30 years older than I am and I am pretty old. It's not that much extra effort to use punctuation. Swear.

#433--Oh, heavens, I'd forgotten Archy.
Mehitabel--"Kittens? What kittens?"

#448 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 04:47 PM:

Ian Paul (Williamson?)@446: I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and explain this to you in words of one syllable.

Ms. Lee's ghostwriter (accepting her version of the events) ripped off a well known fantasy writer. Shamelessly and without any possibility of question. THE WHOLE FIRST PAGE OF A NOVEL WAS REPRODUCED. The moment Ms. Lee's manuscript hit the internet it was recognized by other authors as well as fans of the writer in question. When it was pointed out to Ms. Lee and her agent, first, they insisted it was Ms. Lee's work, then told us all about the ghostwriter, and finally offered a half-assed apology BUT continued (and still continue, AFAIK) to show the text of Ms. Lee's novel on her website. The people in this list were threatened with legal action (snicker) and witchcraft (double snicker).

This is a site of writers (both amateurs and professionals) and publishers (ditto). They have tried to point out to Ms. Lee and her agent the kind of legal mess they have stepped into: if you think that the heirs and publisher of an author whose work is still copyrighted are going to stand for outright copying, you don't know much about the business of publishing--nor to mention pissed-off relatives. I have been a visitor and sometime poster here for years, and NEVER have I seen anyone who joined the conversation with honesty and good arguments be treated with anything but kindness and respect.

And btw, a number of the people posting here have severe disabilities -- none of them use it as an excuse to behave badly. One of the best people I ever met in these threads --we exchanged I think a single sentence or two, I cannot claim friendship-- was to his dying day severely hampered by bad health and he NEVER NEVER EVER moaned and bitched about it as much as Ms. Lee. His was a life lived with honor -- so far, Ms. Lee has played the victim but has not done the honorable thing.

#449 ::: Ian Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 05:05 PM:

Emma
and all this is a good enough reason to attack me because of the way I write

1)Ian: First, please learn about punctuation. This isn't being fussy - it's a well-documented fact that punctuation and capitalization have a really significant effect on readers' understanding and retention of a passage's meaning.
2)Please learn to use punctuation, because what you've written so far in your comments (both of them) is, to put it bluntly, unreadable. (It's also fairly incoherent, but that's a different problem.)
3)(Ian thinking that punctuation is an elite invention designed to squelch creativity and oppress the masses is an extra burst of candy from this pinata...)

All this because I left a comment Thank god for spell check then you could real humiliate me with out it I passed an opinion I did not excuse any actions apart from a later post were I stated its a little early to find some one guilty before trial.

#450 ::: tasha ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 05:27 PM:

Ian: did you examine the evidence above, or did you just come here and post because Lanaia asked you to? If it's the latter, you're not helping her. You're just making it worse.

#451 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 05:29 PM:

My goodness.

She was at it last month in another newspaper, too:

"
To say Mary Kellis has been through a lot is an understatement.

She's endured an aneurysm, a stroke, a coma and losing all her family members. But she refuses to let any of that stop her.

Unable to work, Kellis turned to her longtime hobby of writing poetry and short stories as therapy.

...

Kellis, who writes under the pseudonym Lanaia Lee, is the poet on staff for Pillsbury's company Publishing Consultants.

"She's very good," Pillsbury said. "I think she could give ('Harry Potter' author J.K.) Rowling a run for her money. The story she's come up with is fascinating."

or

flogging her story w/ blog editors:
"THUMB’S UP to the inspirational story of Mary Kellis, the author of “Of Atlantis,” the first of a five-part book series to be released this fall. Kellis, of Burlington, suffered a stroke 15 years ago and with husband David (who is confined to a wheelchair after an accident in the early 1980s) are reminders that people overcome great odds in times of crisis, which makes us wonder why we can’t do so when times are good."

So... another few more instances of her cvlaiming it was all her own work, and cashing in on a built in sob story.

And the excerpt is still up!

And there's been no admission of wrong doing.

Also, Cheryl sent me an email calling me a slanderer, and said that her email was for "fans of angrus grady" only.

#452 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 05:33 PM:

I posted the following on the "Long Story Short" website guestbook, timestamp Sunday, 10/14/07, 2:22 PM:

The "Prologue - Of Atlantis" by Lanaia Lee is essentially identical to the first chapter of Dark Prince (1993) by David Gemmell, with the name "Alexander" sometimes (not always) changed to "Archimedes".

This is blatant (and sloppy) plagiarism. It has been exposed as such. Why is it still posted proudly on your website?
The HTML tags were not interpreted, making the text a little hard to read, but I wonder how long the entry will stay there before being deleted.

#453 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 05:40 PM:

Ian,

Language is such a thin cord to connect one human brain to another human brain†. Written language is even thinner, the merest thread, because all of the added elements of tone and mannerism are gone.

Many of the people on this blog work with, and indeed make their livings from, written language. Everyone on this blog plays with written language; that's why we're here. We care an awful lot about language.

The actions that Lamaia and Cheryl admit to - putting one person's name to another person's prose (whether it was Hill's or Gemmel's) are a violation of a key principle of written language: that a writer only claims credit for his or her own words. No "trial" is needed - they said they did this thing. We have been trying to explain why it is so very bad, and what the best action is to make up for it.

We have, as a group, additional problems with Cheryl's business model, which does not actually fit in with the way the business of publishing works. Agents who charge authors up front for representing them*, and who then arrange for the authors to pay to get books published** are generally considered fraudsters. Cheryl is getting off lightly in this crowd.

By contrast, the comments addressed to you concern a minor pecadillo, a mere venial sin of tangling that precious thread of communication, almost breaking that connection between what you mean and what we see. You're messing with something we love, and it's not easy to sit still with that - particularly when you're doing it in defense of the greater transgression.

-----
† I am paraphrasing Teresa Nielsen Hayden, one of the proprietors of this blog

* as opposed to taking a percentage of sales revenue

** as opposed to getting them contracts with publishers that do all that for another percentage of sales revenue

#454 ::: Simon Bradshaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 05:40 PM:

Ian,

The thing is, Lainaia has really not helped herself - and her 'agent' has made things much worse for her by some of the very arrogant and silly things she has said.

When someone starts out by lying, then admits they were lying but still does not fix the problem (as of now, 10.30 pm Sunday, Lanaia has still not taken down the ripped-off story from her web page), are you surprised that people give her a hard time?

As for the whole spelling and punctuation issue, for one reason or another this is an area that a lot of people on this board are very hot on. In fact, I think it's fair to say that many people here will take poor spelling and/or punctuation as someone actively disrespecting them - it's like saying "I don't care enough about you to make what I'm saying clear or easy to read, so screw you." You might think this is strange or rude, but that is really how many people feel. In fact, they probably think that you are the one who is being rude.

What I'd like to ask before discussing this further is:

Do you have a problem with typing that makes it difficult or awkward to spell or punctuate?

Or do you feel that spelling and punctuation are not that important?

If the first, then it is unreasonable for people to get upset about it. If though the second is true, then at the very least a lot of people here are going to disagree with you, some very forcefully.

Yours,

Simon Bradshaw, Edinburgh

#455 ::: Lynne ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 05:52 PM:

I'm surprised someone hasn't sent a DMCA takedown notice to the ISP yet. That would get the infringing material yanked sooner than the author seems inclined to do. If the site owner doesn't understand copyright infringement, I sure betcha homestead.com does.

#456 ::: Holly ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 05:55 PM:

You know, I'm picky about spelling and grammar - ask anyone. But I've come to know Ian fairly well, online, over the past few months. He's got a good heart.

Ian would jump to the defense of anyone he felt was being unjustly attacked. He might jump too soon, as appears to be the case here. (I am also a b**** when it comes to plagiarism and copyright violation, and have little sympathy for those who commit it - and none for those who make lame excuses for it.) But be kind - not all of your readers have your skills in writing. They are still your readers, and they still buy books.

#457 ::: Ian Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:11 PM:

tasha
Up to now all I have seen is the evidence for the prosecution I would like to hear the defences side before I pass judgment.
and no i was not sent this is but one of many sites I view on a regular Bases but very rarely post Has a rule there is an interesting format but this constant reference to her disability.
If you have ever been interviewed by a reporter you will know this is the meat to the story and that is why it will be constantly referred to
You think perhaps because she has over come her handicap and made a success of what she has achieved should be flushed down the pan because she has been conned and I dare say some of the people here have been conned in one form or another.
but you are right I am not helping her but I am speaking for all those that manage to achieve some thing despite of there disability's and that factor should not enter into the subject in question .
was she or wasn't she conned only a court of law will decide not mass hysteria

#458 ::: Ian Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:12 PM:

tasha
Up to now all I have seen is the evidence for the prosecution I would like to hear the defences side before I pass judgment.
and no i was not sent this is but one of many sites I view on a regular Bases but very rarely post Has a rule there is an interesting format but this constant reference to her disability.
If you have ever been interviewed by a reporter you will know this is the meat to the story and that is why it will be constantly referred to
You think perhaps because she has over come her handicap and made a success of what she has achieved should be flushed down the pan because she has been conned and I dare say some of the people here have been conned in one form or another.
but you are right I am not helping her but I am speaking for all those that manage to achieve some thing despite of there disability's and that factor should not enter into the subject in question .
was she or wasn't she conned only a court of law will decide not mass hysteria

#459 ::: Lanaia ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:12 PM:

For whatever this is worth, my site is hosted by a Long Story Short, I have sent the web mistress numerous e-mails to change the prologue, and I hope by tommorrow it will be changed. I mean no harm. Cheryl bought the book Dark Prince over the weekend,so we cam compare it to Of Atlantis. The book is now on hold until we get resolved. I know every body thinks this is totally my fault but I never even heard of David Gemmel until Thursday. I take respondsibility foy my part. If I could chamge the prologue right now, I would do so. A Long Story Short has a site, go to it and contact the web mistess to change the prologue
Thank you and please don't judge me too harshly!
Lanaia


#460 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:14 PM:

WADR, Mr. Williamson, I've seen people with worse punctuation than yours, and worse grammar, treated quite respectfully here. I've rarely seen anyone who came in with their fists flying get very far.

You accused a group of strangers of crude bigotry. In order to do that, you had to decide that everything that was written on that subject in the preceding 400+ posts wasn't true.

Sounds a bit like finding someone guilty before trial, that does.

#461 ::: Ian Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:15 PM:

tasha
Up to now all I have seen is the evidence for the prosecution I would like to hear the defences side before I pass judgment.
and no i was not sent this is but one of many sites I view on a regular Bases but very rarely post Has a rule there is an interesting format but this constant reference to her disability.
If you have ever been interviewed by a reporter you will know this is the meat to the story and that is why it will be constantly referred to
You think perhaps because she has over come her handicap and made a success of what she has achieved should be flushed down the pan because she has been conned and I dare say some of the people here have been conned in one form or another.
but you are right I am not helping her but I am speaking for all those that manage to achieve some thing despite of there disability's and that factor should not enter into the subject in question .
was she or wasn't she conned only a court of law will decide not mass hysteria

#462 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:18 PM:

I think it is a shame that Lanaia gets abused but absolute bastards like Pierre Menard seem to get away with it.

#463 ::: Ian Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:19 PM:

multi post was not intentional

#464 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:24 PM:

Ian Williamson: there is no question that "Lanaia Lee" did "this thing," i.e. copied someone else's work and passed it off as her own. She has admitted it. No trial is required.

She then goes on to give a number of excuses for her behavior, including that she had a stroke and is in a wheelchair.

It's regretful that Mary Kellis has had a stroke, an aneurysm, been in a coma, etc. I am sympathetic to her personal difficulties. I am willing to accept that it is possible that she did not know someone she hired had ripped off the first chapter of David Gemmell's novel and passed it off as hers. She was inattentive and foolish. But she needs to make it right by apologizing, ceasing to display the work on her website, ceasing to claim it to be entirely her own words, and so on.

I assert that none of what I have written above is abusive to her.

#465 ::: tasha ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:24 PM:

Ian,

I just find it interesting that your first post here occurred immediately after Lanaia asked her yahoo group members to post here, and that you responded to her by saying some very unflattering things about everyone here. I suppose that's just coincidence.

Cheers,
Tasha, one of the self opiniated bigots

#466 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:27 PM:

Holly, I'm not just fussing for the sake of fussing. Part of my disability from auto-immune problems is multiple blind spots in each eye, and real difficulty parsing some kinds of text. When people say "correct punctuation and capitalization assist reading comprehension by the visually impaired", that's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight. I can, literally, follow streams of relatively undifferentiated text like Ian's only with substantial effort and real pain.

Miss Manners often says that one of the great benefits of etiquette is that you don't have to know others' circumstances - you know something to do that's appropriate regardless of who they are. Good orthography works like that, too.

#467 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:29 PM:

bryan at 462, I find your sense of humor to be a tad... quixotic.

#468 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:30 PM:

Ian Williamson @ 461

I am speaking for all those that manage to achieve some thing despite of there disability's and that factor should not enter into the subject in question .

As a number of posters have pointed out to you, disability does not enter into it. A number of people here are disabled, several quite severely, yet none of them bring it up as an excuse for bad behavior; we don't expect anyone else to.

The bad behavior, as has also been pointed out a number of times, was admitted by Ms. Lee and Cheryl, her agent; the issue is not whether there was plagiarism, but what should be done about it. So far what they've done about it is not sufficient in most people's estimation. If you have a problem with that, please explain what that problem is; please do not resort to claims of privilege based on disability; it's not an acceptable argument.

And if you think this is an attack, then you're not reading it carefully; it is an attempt to get you to understand something that hasn't seemed to get through to you: that your statement that this group has been intolerant is not correct, and in fact rather insulting in its wrongness.

#469 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:35 PM:

Since Of Atlantis is purportedly the tale of time-traveling Imhotep, I looked at Lee's poem "Inhotep" [sic], to see what her non-ghostwritten work is like.

Leaving aside the poetic flaws, there are some glaring homonymbly-pegs ("sight" for "site", "dessicate" for "desecrate" -- "if you desiccate the tomb you will suffer a terrible fate"), and a reckless disagreement in number ("Wondering if the Egyptian curse we hear about this place are really true?").

Far from full-scale editing, this hasn't had the most basic proofreading, but badly needed it.

So this is "the Edgar Allen Poe of the Modern Era"? Perhaps in one sense. To deflect any criticism of dishonesty by depicting it as abuse of the disabled is a wonderful diddle indeed.

#470 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:49 PM:

For those wondering what Tasha is referring to at 465, see this.

#471 ::: Anna ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:57 PM:

Mary, In relation to the email you sent out to members of your yahoo group - I'd just like to point out that I am not "a nut", and I am not "out to ruin your name".

Nor are the other people whose comments you have erased from your shoutbox.

We were stating a fact. There was no defamation, we stated that the prologue from "Of Atlantis" was in fact lifted from the David Gemmell novel "Dark Prince", and that is was not written by you. (something which you have still not done yourself)

If you can erase well meaning comments, you should be able to place a comment of your own stating that the prologue was not written by you.

You seem to be keeping up with the comments on here so hopefully you will read this, and place a suitable comment.

#472 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 06:57 PM:

Oh dear.

It does appear, Mr. Williamson, that there really was bad faith involved here.

and no i was not sent this is but one of many sites I view on a regular Bases but very rarely post

vs.

I believe you I have never come across a bigger bunch of self opinionated bigots in all my life and you can quote me
Best wishes

Ian Williamson

and it seems, Mr. Williamson, that the bad faith is yours.

Not very nice, Mr. Williamson.

#473 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:04 PM:

Those who have insinuated that Christopher Hill dedicated his life to writing a contemporary Atlantis calumniate his illustrious memory.

He did not want to compose another Atlantis —which is easy— but the Atlantis itself. Needless to say, he never contemplated a mechanical transcription of the original; he did not propose to copy it. His admirable intention was to produce a few pages which would coincide—word for word and line for line—with those of Mark Mitchell.

“My intent is no more than astonishing,” he wrote me the September 11, 2001, from New York City. “The final term in a theological or metaphysical demonstration—the objective world, God, causality, the forms of the universe—is no less previous and common than my famed novel. The only difference is that the philosophers publish the intermediary stages of their labor in pleasant volumes and I have resolved to do away with those stages.” In truth, not one worksheet remains to bear witness to his years of effort, however there are several invoices for payment that have been burnt to ash, and the ashes used to demonstrate a good intent and lack of guile by those that have since inherited his texts.

The first method he conceived was relatively simple. Be a golden haired child, have his father die, live in an utopian nation drowned in a deluge, be Mark Mitchell. Christopher Hill studied this procedure (I know he in fact wrote a hit song as Mark Mitchell http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/009052.html#190771 ) but discarded it as too easy, and financially non-remunerative (due to RIAA attacks on his copyright of the song in question).


#474 ::: Anna ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:08 PM:

Oh yes... i forgot to post the yahoo message i was replying to.

From Lanaia

I need your help, read the page I sent you, you know me would you go to
the yell box on my website and Making Light: Weirdly Similar....post
something positive. I really need this, to show me some one has faith
in me

Thanks and hugs,
Mary

http://www.alongstoryshort.net/lanaialee.html my site

These are lies, I did nothing wrong, these nuts are ruining my name

and link to page - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lanaia/message/314

#475 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:10 PM:

Todd @ 470

That message clinches it; I no longer believe that Mary, or whatever she wants us to call her, is innocent of any wrong-doing*. Her own words have convinced me of her guilt and of her unwillingness to repair the damage she's done. Better by far, for her, had she simply shut up 2 days ago, and left many of us feeling that she didn't understand what was going on; by going on as she has, she's convinced a lot of us of the opposite.

She might have even been better off if we were all convinced this was an attack of the sockpuppets; we wouldn't have been as ready to accept how many people have been lied to by the principals of this travesty.

* I only believed it about 10% by this point, probably too tolerant considering I've read this entire thread in order, but there was at least some possibility that her mental acuity was damaged badly enough to prevent reasonable judgment. However, bringing Ian into the discussion to defend her like that is way too reminiscent of bringing in a dupe to shill for you.

#476 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:17 PM:

Iah -- you say you've seen the case for the prosecution but not the case for the defense?

First, review the evidence: the prologue from Of Atlantis posted by Lanaia under her byline ("By Lanaia Lee") on her webpage. Then review the first page of Dark Prince by David Gemmell. You can find that at BN.COM using their "see inside" feature.

Having done that, look up the legal term res ipsa loquitur.

That is the whole "case for the prosecution."

Notice that the "case" does not mention Ms. Lee's infirmity.

Now read the "case for the defense": Cheryl Pillsbury and Lanaia Lee.

Make up your own mind.

#477 ::: Vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:32 PM:

Lanaia:

To address
"These are lies, I did nothing wrong, these nuts are ruining my name"

1. They are not lies. They are documented assertions of wrongdoing, backed up by hard evidence. You *did* put Gemmell's work out with your name as author. You. Did. That. There's pictures and all.

2. Whether or not you knew it at the time, you did do something wrong, and you seem bloody slow about making any sort of amends about it. Take down the plagiarised material, for heavens' sake.

3. If your name/nom de plume is being ruined, it's by reportage of your own actions. Name calling might get you sympathy from your friends, but it doesn't change what you have done, what you have admitted to and what you need to do to fix it.

Now, get this straight. This is not about your writing quality, or your disability, or your living circumstances. This is about a stupid series of mistakes you made and aren't unmaking.

It'd be a long bow to draw to say everyone on this thread is actually trying to help you, but the people saying "take the plagiariased stuff down RIGHT NOW before you get your nethers sued off" are professionals, working in the field, giving you very sound advice, which you are dragging your feet on. Noone wants to see you lose whatever money you have in a lawsuit, which Gemmell's estate will be obliged to launch to defend its copyright unless you act quickly.

So stop wasting time rallying the troops for sympathy, and deal very quickly with the legal consequences of the mistake you have made.

#478 ::: Jane ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:54 PM:

Technically, the entire prologue of "Of Atlantis" is a copy of the first chapter of Dark Prince. It comprises 6 pages. I just, out of laziness, posted the first page.

#479 ::: Christine ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 07:55 PM:

If this had happened to me (never would, I DO write my own stuff, such as it is)...

"What?? That no-good, nasty, evil ghostwriter I hired did WHAT??? I'm SO sorry, there's been a terrible mistake and I'm going to fix it right away! I really hope no one thinks I did that on purpose, because it was just a mistake. Although I've never read any of David Gemmel's works, I apologize to Mr. Gemmel's family and please be assured that it was a grevious error that I deeply regret."

See how much better that is, as opposed to "I've done nothing wrong and you're all a bunch of nuts and I'm disabled, don't blame me"?

Again, right way and wrong way. Right way keeps your dignity and some respect.

#480 ::: Tristan ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 08:01 PM:

I am a dedicated lurker, and have only recently developed the courage to post, but this time I actually have a related question. I think everyone agrees that taking a whole chapter from another author is wrong. Even if you change the names. Even if you change a few of the words. But what about a sentence?

I write only for my own amusement, but was still horrified a few months ago, when I was re-reading a favorite book and discovered that I’d inadvertently borrowed a sentence for one of my stories. Seven little words, but they were clearly the work of another author. I could claim that it was coincidence, but it’s much more likely that the words had stuck in my memory. (I’ve re-read some of my favorites so many times that I can quote whole passages, and even though I’m not sure I could have quoted that one, I still fear I somehow subconsciously remembered that particular word string.)

By my own definition, plagiarism applies to the result, not the intent, so that even though I didn’t mean to do it, it’s still wrong. I've since removed that sentence, obviously.

But what if I’ve done it elsewhere in my work, and what if someday I finish something, and manage to convince an agent and a publisher that it’s worthy of being shared with the rest of the world? I may think that every page is my own creation, but what if there’s some little phrase that isn’t?

It's a hypothetical worry at this point, but I'm still thinking about it.

#481 ::: Vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 08:17 PM:

Tristan:

Unintentional plagiarism happens rather a lot, especially early in the writing habit/hobby/craft/career. You throw out a particulalrly good sentence, and are terribly pleased by it, and later realise that the reason you liked it so much is because Jane Austen got it right 200 years ago.

It's worse in academic writing - you read up on a subject, balance all views, finally compose an essay which reflects what you think. Alas, all the stuff you've read and taken notes on percolates through your mind until you aren't sure what's yours and what's not, and many's the time an undergrad has been warned their work is far too close to a noted article or book.

In Academic writing, the remedy is easier: take really careful notes with direct quotes, footnote anything you didn't write yourself. And read as broadly as you can, so there's less chance of just one choice set of words getting stuck inside your head. Actually, reading widely is part of the remedy for fiction as well - the more words there are in your head, the more to choose from.

For fiction, it's also about finding your own voice. When you are starting out, you imitate writers whose work you enjoy or find effective. So their stuff creeps in. But the more widely you read, and the more you write, the more authentic and less dependant on others your writing will be. You'll never be wholly original - no writer writes in a vacuum - but your editors and proofreaders should pick up anything obvious or dangerous.

#482 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 08:25 PM:

#401, #407 Thanks guys! To echo a previous commenter, I love this place!

Faren Miller: It's perhaps best to think of Lulu.com as an online copy shop (like Kinko's et al) that happens to offer bookbinding as one of its services.

Anna @ #474: <Sigh> At this point even my sympathy is pretty strained. At the very least, Lanaia (we have other Marys) really shouldn't be let out without a "keeper", or at least not onto the Internet....

#483 ::: Tristan ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 08:28 PM:

Vian, thank you for the reassurance. Although I may start gathering my band of merry sock-puppets, just in case.

#484 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 08:28 PM:

It's a hypothetical worry at this point, but I'm still thinking about it.

I'd say, "Don't worry about it." Presumably the sentence before, and the sentence after, bore no relation to the other work? The paragraph before and the paragraph after? The scene before and the scene after?

Individual phrases, even sentences ... can come up inadvertently. Even if the author never in his life read the other work.

#485 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 08:40 PM:

It's a hypothetical worry at this point, but I'm still thinking about it.

I'd say, "Don't fret over it." Presumably the sentence before, and the sentence after, bore no resemblance to the other novel? The lines before and the lines after? The chapter before and the chapter after?

Isolated phrases, even sentences ... can come up with unintentional lack of care. Even if the writer never in his life read Jim's post @484.

#486 ::: Jackie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 09:06 PM:

Lanaia, honey, tomorrow the law offices will open, the cease and desist orders will be sent. You will be in a lot of trouble. You should have listened. Chris Hill can't be found, so you will be the one they come after. Big mistake not to fix the first mistake. And you did do something wrong.

#487 ::: glinda, who is not necessarily good ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 09:22 PM:

These are lies, I did nothing wrong, these nuts are ruining my name

Saying "These are lies, I did nothing wrong" when someone has in fact told the truth about plagiarism, which is criminal behavior? Not a good defense.

*shakes head, wandering off in search of more popcorn*

#488 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 09:25 PM:

@476, by Jim: "Make up your own mind."

Unfortunately, as Patrick noted earlier, that's probably an impossibility, for Lanaia/Mary/Cheryl/Ian et al. fall into an either/or category at this point: either they are unable to actually make up their minds for themselves because they lack the basic principles of comprehension necessary to do so (and the excerpt is still up, last I checked), or they are flat out unwilling.

My guess is the latter. I'd wager on it, though not so much as Charlie Rimmer did in a previous thread.

Heh.

#489 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 09:37 PM:

Jane #408 - No email correspondence, thank Ghu. Just a lucky guess, I guess.

#490 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 09:55 PM:

Unfortunately, Ms Lee appears to have posted "her" prologue in several places:
http://www.poetstageforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2465&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=&sid=f396c412181ed748a2a54651f697129e
http://www.poetsandstorytellers.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2785
http://forums.gotblack.com/viewthread.php?tid=21640&page=1#pid294879
http://sick66.forumco.com/topic~TOPIC_ID~3409.asp
http://creativeconsciousness63643.yuku.com/topic/15017/t/Prologue-from-my-new-novel-Of-Atlantis.html

I think she's got a lot of deleting to do.

#491 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 09:57 PM:

Oh my gods. These people are stooooooooooo-

#492 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 09:58 PM:

-ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-

#493 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 10:04 PM:

-ooooooooooooopid!

I've been on vacation, away from nice civilized V-shaped keyboards, and hanging out with dear old friends.

I think people mostly said what I'd've said about Wicca. Cheryl, you write like a 13-year-old goth chick who thinks everyone will be all "ooo, scawwy" if you claim to be a witch [sic]. You are not only not a Witch, you are a fool (and a thief and a liar).

Lanaia...stop whining, you moron, and do what has to be done. You named yourself after one of the worst criminal characters who ever appeared on SG-1. Somehow I can't quite believe you really think you did nothing wrong; you just expect to get away with it because oh, poor you, you're a stroke victim. Get. Over. Yourself.

#494 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 10:10 PM:

Xopher!

Welcome back. Missed you.

#495 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 10:53 PM:

Let's turn back to Roval for a moment. Remember them? The folks that Cheryl likes to work with, the ones who were going to publish On Atlantis?

Look at their Marketing Guide (a free download at Lulu.com).

Cast your eye on page 5 of that slender book:

The Book Review A Key to Publishing Success!

A book review is a form of literary examination and criticism in which the work is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. It is often carried out in periodicals, as school work, or online. Its length may vary from a single paragraph to a substantial essay. Book reviews often contain evaluations of the book on the basis of personal taste. Reviewers, in literary periodicals, often use the occasion of a book review for a display of learning or to promulgate their own ideas on the topic of a fiction or non-fiction work. At the other end of the spectrum, some book reviews resemble simple plot summaries.

In addition to being a popular consumer stopping point, A Book Review is also a great place to enhance a promotional campaign. A recent Book Review enabled a title to move in the Amazon.com sales rankings from number 9,987 to number 27!

Many of our reviewers have specific expertise in their chosen genres and some are published authors themselves. All that we need is that you send us your books for review. As is said occasionally, "A book should not be judged by its cover."

Professional book reviews are sent to the following:

  • Review in The New York Times
  • Review in The San Francisco Examiner
  • Review in The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Review in The Chicago Sun-Times
  • Review in The Dallas Morning news

REGULAR..........$495
SPECIAL..........$995

Now compare that, if you will, to these two sources:


"Book Review" at Wikipedia:

A book review (or book report) is a form of literary criticism in which the work is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. It is often carried out in periodicals, as school work, or online. Its length may vary from a single paragraph to a substantial essay. Book reviews often contain evaluations of the book on the basis of personal taste. Reviewers, in literary periodicals, often use the occasion of a book review for a display of learning or to promulgate their own ideas on the topic of a fiction or non-fiction work. At the other end of the spectrum, some book reviews resemble simple plot summaries.


And to this at Bookreview.com:

In addition to being a popular consumer stopping point, BookReview.com is also a great place to enhance a promotional campaign. A recent BookReview.com Book of the Month moved in the Amazon.com sales rankings from number 9,987 to number 27!


Reviews are available in a searchable database format, indexed by author, title, subject and keyword.


Many of our reviewers have specific expertise in their chosen genres and some are published authors themselves.


All that we ask of you is that you send us your books to review.


One publisher sent us book covers in lieu of actual books. Please don't follow his example. We simply can not judge a book by its cover.

How about that? Amazing coincidence! I wonder how that happened? I also wonder how exactly Roval was planning to go about getting those particular publications to run their "professional reviews." I was under the impression that The New York Times et al. had their own reviewers, none of whom are Jeromil Valencia of North Richland Hills, Texas.

Maybe Roval wouldn't have a big problem with publishing a plagiarized novel.

Thanks and a hat-tip to JulieB who found the sources.

#496 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 10:59 PM:

James, they just say that the book reviews will be *sent* to the NY Times etc. Not that the newspapers will *print* them.

#497 ::: Kellie Hazell ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 10:59 PM:

Xopher, I was wondering when the context of Lanaia on SG-1 was going to get mentioned. Do you think we should call Ms. Lee "Destroyer of Words" to fill out the pseudonym a bit more?

#498 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:01 PM:

Welcome back, Xopher!

#499 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:02 PM:

It is getting increasingly difficult not to conclude that all of the principals in this matter deserve one another.

#500 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:05 PM:

FranW, thanks for the additional URLs in #490.

Lanaia posted a different prologue text at creativeconsciousness on 10/26/05. Here are the first two paragraphs, cut-and-pasted:

I am Archamedes, high priest of Atlantis. I was born to a life of spirituality, power, and magic. Me, being high priest of Atlantis, omly I had the privaledge of knowing the secret to eternal life and how to change my appearance at will. I have lived for many centuries and for many life times. I sustain my life, by drinking an elixer known as Nector From The God. For all the years, I have lived, I have been able to find all the ingrediants needed for the nectar to sustain my life, until now.

I have never let my true identity be known, until now. I will tell you everything, the only person I consider to be a confidant, you. I can no longer find all the ingredients for my life sustaining nector.So. like any other mortal man, now I, Archamedes, face the inevitable for the first time. So, I feel it is important to tell someone of my triumphs and my sins I want to bear my soul. So, get comfortable and I will take you on a journey, that would be thought to be unattainable, by a regular mortal man. But I, Archamedes, am more than a human man.
Several other chapters are on this site, but it seems further updates will not appear there:
Banned
Lanaia Lee has been banned from our network.
Pity we shall not be privaledged to share the Nector....

#501 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:09 PM:

ian Williamson @412:

I thought it was only the Brits who were so callus

Excuse me? Where does this come from? Bad Hollywood movies starring Mel Gibson? Did a Briton kick your dog, Mr Williamson?

#502 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:14 PM:

Excellent find Jim, I bow to your (and JulieB's) Google-fu.

What this charade (and others like it) have shown me is that what the publishing industry really, really needs... is Simon Cowell.

"No, no and no Lanaia. What you have written here is utter rubbish. Do you have a day job? No? I suggest you find one."

"I'm sorry Cheryl. You said you were a what? You couldn't find a well written novel if it was rubbed all over a skunk's bullocks and placed under your nose."

"Roval publishing? What is it exactly that you're publishing? You call that a web page?"

"Utterly hopeless."

#503 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:17 PM:

Re #501: Oh, never mind; I should have read on.

#504 ::: Charlene ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:19 PM:

Mr. Macdonald @495:

Roval doesn't claim that their reviews will be published in the New York Times, etc. They claim their reviews will be sent to those newspapers.

You can send the Times anything you want. Their mail clerks need a good laugh from time to time.

#505 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:30 PM:

Nope. Patrick's right. There's no point to this.

#506 ::: Vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:36 PM:

It is getting increasingly difficult not to conclude that all of the principals in this matter deserve one another.

Indeed. But the irrational optimist in me still wants Lanaia to come to her senses. Cheryl and Chris are undeniably nasty pieces of work; Lanaia might just be too caught up in the glitterdream of Being An Author (or she may be congnitively impaired)to see the practicalities of the mess she's in.

It's a narrative thing - I'd rather the "wounded heroine retreats a sadder but wiser woman, vowing to learn and return" trope than "and they all dragged each other into a pathetic little morass of self-justifying cant and were jumped on by lawyers and never seen again."

Still, she does seem to be showing all the signs of being one of those people that There's No Helping.

#507 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:40 PM:

Hi Xopher, glad you're back. Have fun reading through this thread; it's got more full-on stupid than even Charlie Rimmer's socks.

#508 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:46 PM:

FranW... great Googling moogly. At the link http://www.poetsandstorytellers.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2785 I see that Lanaia was told about the Alexander/Archimedes thing at the end of July. She not only didn't realize something was fishy, she didn't fix it.

Ow. My head.

#509 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2007, 11:48 PM:

Over on Noveltalk.com (http://www.noveltalk.com/AskAnAuthorPrevious.asp), Ms Lee (Mary Kellis) asked in July how to get out of a POD contract, and then in August how to get a cash advance on royalties. Admittedly, I'm not sure if this argues for, or against, her being utterly clueless about how publishing works, but it does seem she has previously entertained doubts about her publisher.

#510 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 12:03 AM:

At the link http://www.poetsandstorytellers.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2785 I see that Lanaia was told about the Alexander/Archimedes thing at the end of July.

And using the part of the book she knows she didn't write to fish for compliments on her writing.

There's an argument to be made for ghostwriting a first book, say in the case of non-writers who have attained the public eye by means of other talents - a ghostwritten book makes their stories available to an audience whose interest is already focused on them. But for someone who wants to attain the public eye as a writer? I have no words... but I hear they can be purchased for a reasonable monthly fee.

#511 ::: glinda, who is not necessarily good ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 12:29 AM:

Pyre @ 500: I begin to understand the fascination with train wrecks, and why people *have* to slow down at accident scenes to see what's going on.

After reading those two paragraphs am, in lieu of brain bleach, sipping a concoction of pomegranate syrup, club soda, and about half an ounce of vodka. (I'd add more vodka, but that would be a Bad Thing, what with my current migraine level and the medication I'm taking to cope with same.)

I'm wondering if Ms. Lee has reached an emotional state where she *can't* see that she's done anything wrong, and the more people try to instruct her, the more she's seeing it as a personal attack and digging in her heels, wailing "but I didn't do anything wrong!" - conflating criticism of what she's done with a personal attack on her.

And I started thinking: "Didn't she even get recommendations before hiring a ghost writer, and an agent, and a publisher?" I mean, unless circumstances force my hand, I don't take my car to the nearest mechanic, but ask for suggestions. Ditto with plumbers, carpenters, someone to mow the lawn, someone to fix one's teeth...

Isn't there, among the rules of How These Things Should Work (in addition to "money flows TO the author"), something along the lines of "Ask around. Ask to talk with other clients they've represented. Ask to see other books the publisher has printed, and ask the authors how satisfied they are with the publishing service." Or plain old caveat emptor, I guess.

This fits in with a conversation with a friend half an hour ago, on dealing with the vagaries of DSHS (Welfare), Social Security, Public Housing, et al. (I'm further along in the various processes than she is, and she trusts me for information.) There are a not surprising number of incompetents working for such organizations, and a surprising (to me, before I learned better) number of those who really do try to be obstructive, so the rules are 1.) Always make copies. 2.) If delivering the paperwork by hand, get a receipt; deliver the copies, not the originals. 3.) If sending in things by mail, send them certified, return receipt; send copies, never originals. 4.) If conducting important business with them by phone, immediately write down a memo of the call (to whom, date & time, what was said), and send a copy of *that* by certified mail. Oh, and 5.) When you find you're stuck dealing with someone who oh-so-conveniently loses paperwork despite your proof of sending it, with his or her signature on that proof, get a case manager from your side of things to contact the DSHS/whatever person's supervisor. (Yes, I had to use that one while dealing with the Seattle Section 8 people, as well as the "document phone calls" and "get a receipt for something you handed directly to the person" the hard way. Others, I had passed on to me by people who'd learned them that way. Now, I'm passing them along to a couple of friends who're a bit less experienced dealing with the bottom feeders at those agencies.) (Not saying everyone there is a bottom feeder; I've had some truly helpful people along the way, but it's not safe to assume that's what's going on.)

#512 ::: Alma Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 12:49 AM:

Pyre #500

Lanaia's alternative prologue at creativeconsciousness

"Privaledge"? "Elixer"? "Nector"? "Ingrediants"?

For that matter, "Archamedes"?

And all that in the first paragraph?

Okay, she can spell the name of her protagonist however the hell she pleases, even if does poke at my eye with sharp pointed sticks. But even if this was written in the dark ages before spell checkers were freely available for the production of the original draft, surely a spell check could have been run on it in the final stages before uploading onto the Internet?

And while a lack of a knack for spelling and punctuation is fixable, and has been known to be overlooked if the story which they cling to is sufficiently mind-blowing to make you forget them while you're reading that story. But the story has to be *mind-blowing*.

I admit to only having read the two paragraphs posted in this forum. I also, alas, have to admit that I have no wish whatsoever to seek out more.

#513 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 12:57 AM:

I would like to call their 15 minutes... time: now.

#514 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:07 AM:

JKRichard #485: You, sir, have made me crack up for altogether too long.

#515 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:08 AM:

Alma, tell us, all other women are jeal...er, no, wait, sorry.

Alma, you wouldn't have to seek far -- the link in 500 contains many more paragraphs. It gets better, for versions of 'better' which include 'many more extraneous commas' and 'lots of repititons of that hard-on-the-eyes-spelling-of-Archimedes'.

#516 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:29 AM:

Jim #495: Glad to be of service. It's amazing what I'll do to procrastinate on deadline, sometimes. ;-) (I see the light at the end of the project tunnel, and I pray it isn't an oncoming train!)

Todd: You may have nothing to do with my Alma Mater, but still I sing to thee with glasses raised on high.

#517 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:54 AM:

Glinda, your #511 reminds me of something which I don't think applies very much in this particular situation, but which does come up from time to time. To wit, being told "you've done something wrong and need to fix it" means different things to different people.

Okay, yeah, no duh, but seriously. I grew up in a home where our parents were pretty direct about pointing out mistakes we'd made and calling us on deliberately bad decisions, and good about requiring us to work on repairs, but then also good about accepting the repair as done when it was done. So there's no particular fear for me in having an error pointed out, because I believe on the basis of life experience that I can fix it and then it's done. That isn't at all true for friends of mine, whose families taught them that every failing, however small, is an occasion to make the perpetrator feel altogether worthless and furthermore that once a mistake has been made, it can never truly be fixed and is always there to be used as a weapon against their self-esteem and concentration, forever after.

Too much of America's social service bureaucracy runs that way, which is why I nodded with unhappy familiarity at your account of necessary steps. Been there and done that, repeatedly. Dealing with such people can put real scars on a person's soul...but some of those wounds can be healed, and others can be lived with in ways that don't let them define all the rest of one's approach to the world. I would have great sympathy for someone who'd gotten as defensive as Lanaia because of that sort of history, but I would sympathetically insist that nonetheless there are wrongs to be redressed.

#518 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:01 AM:

I has read excerpt. Excerpt hurts brain.

DO NOT WANT.

Ahem.

But I can see why someone might say, "There's something wrong with this. It's the story I'm trying to tell, but the words aren't put together right. Well, I went to the trouble of writing all this. Maybe I can find someone to just polish it up; tell the same story using better words."

However, someone who would get a ghostwriter to "polish" it, and then say that it's all hers, has problems being honest, as well as problems constructing coherent sentences and paragraphs.

And there's lots of other problems as well.

The brain is a mighty complex system, and a stroke in just the right place(s) (the frontal gyrus?) might well knock out judgment and honesty, and also affect the ability to construct readable prose.

Of course, that raises the question of what is wrong with the brains of the agent and the ghostwriter. What's their excuses?

#519 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:03 AM:

ethan @ 514 No encouragement please. I sometimes feel I dance the line of disemvowelment each time I post here.

#520 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:08 AM:

Bryan I saw that don't you think for a moment that I didn't lizzie did too also scraps if he's reading this and many more besides so there

and you have read this, haven't you?

Ian Williamson: no good can come of failure to punctuate. And don't tell me I'm being an elitist for saying so. Your pauses are clearly present in your prose. It would take very little effort for you to learn to mark them properly. I suggest you do so, unless you want to spend the rest of your life having people think you're an idiot.

Likewise, don't you dare pull that crap about how we're picking on the disabled. Don't you even start. Because this is my weblog, and I've been disabled since I was in my twenties. I go on anyway. We all do. Very few of us play the "Pity me, I'm damaged" card at every opportunity.

Matt McIrvin's take on Lanaia Lee, posted in James Nicoll's LJ, may be the best single summary of this entire affair:

She sure has come down in the world since the days when she was dating Superman.
Thanks. We needed that.

#521 ::: Lanaia ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:09 AM:

I can totally understand why everyone thought I copied the work of the deceased author. Death is an old nemesis of mine after losing my parents, my siblings, six children, and almost my own life, which a lot of you think is funny, but be in a wheelchair for fifteen years, an I think you would change your mind. Knowing what this is like I would never intentionally defame the dead, their memory, to their legacy.
That being said, I started the book Of Atlantis, three years ago. At that time I was approached by Hill and Hill Literary Agency, with the promise of a contract with a major publishing house. To say I was flattered beyond belief, only describes a part of what I felt. When all the things said about Christopher Hill, being what he truly was, a fraud, I let my flattery blind me. Ignoring everything derogatory I read about him on various sites across the Internet. For the first part Of Atlantis, I thought I needed some one more familiar with the king's English, needed for the first part of the book. Christopher being from Scotland, I thought he would be perfect for a ghost writer. He only did ghost writing on the first few chapters of the book. At this time, I stupidly had total faith in him. I never dreamed he would use some one else's work. If I had known, I would have never used it.
Of Atlantis was scheduled for release at the end of the month, but now my attorneys, my agent, my publishers and I have put the book on hold until we can resolve this matter.
As far as Roval Publishing goes, yes they are self publishers, and I used them because I wasted almost two years of my life with Christopher. My husband talked me into self publishing because he thinks the book is that good and he thinks when it is in book stores, the book will literary blast off, because he thinks it is that good. So, self publishing we did because my health is not good at all and I just pray I can complete all five books in the series, so far I have completed three.
My disease is called erratic hypertension; I'm not suppose to have any stress, but the last 48 hrs, I have had enough stress for a life time.
I do apologize to the memory of Mr. Gemmel and his family, for what some one else did to him that had no right and God as my witness I did not know. I am also including proof as I paid Christopher and proof of him coaching me. Honestly I meant no harm to any one and I apologize for being so stupid. Like I said I included proof about Christopher.

Chapter outline.


We begin at Samothrace, Lionus has left and the war has raged for eight more years. Cheris recals lionus departing, he has begged her forgiveness but the memory of the beating and the persecution of Persis is still to fresh and she rebukes him. We see Archimedes and Dianu get close but Arxhimedes sees her as a sister, he is arracted to Delyse a slave girl.

Cut to the borber between Aislea and Ames Lionus is preparing to lead a force into Ames. He has heard of the warrior Regnak and seeks him out. Persis aviods meeting the King and once more leaves, vowing to return to Samothrace to see the Queen,

Cut to Conavar and Roman, in a secret meeting discussing fighting Lionus's army, a hooded figure gives them advice on the Kings plans and when see this is Uric.

Cut to Lionus in his war camp. Uric appears warning the King of the trap set, but he doesn't tell him everything, the Aislean army walks into the trap, but both sides suffer heavy losses, Lionus escapes with his life but not before killing Romen on the batflfield. Uric's power grows because of the bloodlust feeding his bloodstone.

Cut to Samothrace, The King returns a cold and angry man. He tries to seduce Cheris but is again turned away. In his anger he storms, out drunken and in a rage he sees Dianu and tries to rape her. She fights him off, this increases his anger more, and he strangles her.

Enter Archimedes. He sees the King towering over the dead girl.

His power arises, he lifts the king into the air mentally and there is a terrible breaking sound as he breaks every bone is his body. The king falls dead and archimedes cradles the dead girl.

There you go.
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Mary

I thought we agreed we would wait until my chapter eight was finished?

I really can't work more than the one/two days a week due to other commitments, and the fact my temp only works one day.

I will however gie you an outline, but we then must wait till my chapter 8 and 9 are completed.

Chapter 9

The coronation of Archimedes.
Uric gets closer to the boy despite his mothers warnings.

Delyse and Archimedes start to get close, Archimedes takes her on a boat trip against all advice. A storm comes in so they set ashore. Here we learn of Archimedes fears about his power. Delyse (a nobles daughter not a servant) offers support. They are attacked by Nomads Archimedes fends them off with sword.

Regnak hears of the Kings death and decides to head back to Samothrace, before his journey begins he learns of a massive force of ships seen off the coast. He journeys to the beach, a huge fleet of some five thousand ships scan across the horizon, each mast has a single black crow upon it.

Regnak has seen this before but cannot remember where. Then it comes to him. It is the seal of Uric.

The ships are outlanders, from where we do not know yet. They are here on Urics bidding, the time is coming when Uric shows his hand.





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Mary

Your chapter 9 is different to mine so chapter ten will not tie in with the end of your nine, however it doesn't matter.


10. This is going to be around 7/8k.

The fleet of ships lands and invades Ames. Regnak who now leads the armies of North Aislea orders a withdrawal of his troups, he first seeks terms to end the war with Conavar but Conavar thinks it is a trick and that Uric is bringing reinforcements to his aid. The fleet of ships land, the soilders are Jahir from a land where Uric ruled before returning to Atlantis. They lay siege to Conavar's fortress in the mountains.

We need long descriptive battle scenes here, usign catapaults, seige engines and the such. The Jahir are mericless killers, killing the old and taking the young into slavery. After a vicious battle when nearly all is lost and Conavar is beaten Archimedes rides into the battle with Regnak, together with a mighty cavarly they force the Jahir back. Conavar despite being saved sees the folly of his actions, unable to take the shame of being duped he takes his own life. On the border of Aislea a great army of Jahir is formed, Uric takes the lead and is openly seen for the first time as their commander. He seeks talks with Archimedes, and an uneasy truce is governed whilst they talk. Uric taunts the boy, seeking for him to lose control, but Regnak has told Archimedes of the past, (whilst divulging his true identity as Persis). Ulric swears to see all he loves dead and Archimedes nearly loses control. The final scene of this chapter is Uric leaving the tent and Archimedes fearing for the future.

The seige and battles in Ames are most important here, we need to get across the skill and vicious nature of the Jahir, they are not savages, just a warrior race.

Have fun!!!!



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INFORMATION

Due to busy phone lines and workload we are allocating slots for telephone conversation if any are desired. As principle contact I can be reached on 0791-8070105 and through 01875-615200. However we will be using a booking service.

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Mary

Your chapter 11 was very good, the final scene was perfect. Watch your language at time though, you swutch between an older style to more modern expressions. For example:

You have written: " I promise you this I shall avenge your death! Uric caused this and he is a dead man!"

Whereas it would read better as: "I promise upon my soul your death will not go unavenged. I will not rest until I have hunted him down, and his blood stains the very land we live upon."

The rest of the work was good but your diaglogue was a little contrived at times, the characters need a less formal approach, it makes them less wooden..

Chapter 12

Key points.

A year has passed from the queens death, we begin with Archimedes reading a scroll from Persis. He has written missive that he has gained employ amongst the Jahir and travels to their land by ship in order to assasinate Uric, carrying the blade he does, Peris knows he only has to get close.

A large section of the fist half of the chapter building the relationship between Archimedes and hi schildren, we see him witness them both exhibiting a small amount of power and he fears they are cursed like him. Delyse sees his ponderings and offers support.

Then we switch to Persis, after a long voyage he sets foot upon a strange land, the Jahir have great wealth and large cities, but their desire for war sees there population dwindle, the great city streets are laden with empty shops and taverns as there is no one to run them.

Persis locates Uric' s palace and in the dead of night climbs the walls and seeks the sorcerer out. Hiding on a balcony Persis is dismayed when he sees Uric talking with his advisors. He hears that Uric now had control over several other countries, that a force never seen before would be descending on Atalnatis. Ships were already approaching the Northern Terrorities, and a full fleet of ships with thousands of warriors would be leaving to invade southern lands within days. Uric wished for Archimedes to ride north to battle. He would find a larger army than imagined and then the invading armies from the south would cut of retreat, he would be outmanouvered and outnumbered.

Persis was now in dilema. The next passage from the docks began in the morning, for himto warn Archimedes adequately he needed to leave then. An assassination attempt successful or not would close the city and harbour down for a day or two.

Realising his heart lay with Atlantis Persis creeps off. We then discover Uric knew he was there,

The Sorcerer summons two Shadoews, the winged creatures stood taller than the average man, that were ebony from head to toe, with no facial features accpet a black mouth and jagged but very sharp teeth. Uric commands they kill Persis. Persis survives the savage attack, but only due to the blessed blade, a normal weapon would never harm a Shadoew. After killing the second beast Persis feels the blade get heavier and the glow that emitted from the blade diminshed a little.

Cut to Uric working at his desk, the black figure behind his lowering from a rope to the floor. The figure creeping up behind the sorcerer and then we see Persis strike, driving the blade between Uric'c spine through his chest.

Uric spins round swiping Persis from the ground . As Persis gets to his feet he sees Uric pull the blade from his back, the power of the sword had diminished from the battle with the Shadoews. Unprotected against his skills Persis fights Uric to the death.

Brave and valiant Persis is no match for Uric, no mortal man is.




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Mary

Here is the outline for the interlude.


To begin with we are situated in France, Paris, we follow a young man Damien Reece, he is following an older man through the mazr of Parisian streets, he rushes through the public as he loses sight of the old man. He curses as he realises that he has lost him.

From a doorway strong hands lift the Reece into the air and drag him inside.

The old man throws Reece to the floor of the deserted house, he barks:

"Why do you follow me boy? Who are you?"

Thus we discover Reece is a researcher but also a member of an Order called Mestro, whose aim is discover the meaning of exsistence. Reece claims that he has seen age old pictures of the man, he is known as the Eternal, walking the earth since time began. Thus Archimedes laughs, Reece tells him he only wants to learn from him, to understand his origin, to learn who he is and understand his power. Archimedes laughs once more, and in example of his power he raises a hand and Reece is lifted into the air and put down upon a chair.

We then begin with Archimedes stating facts about the worls around them, describing events that will lead to catastrophy. He states that he is old and tired, that he yearns for death, but that his knowledge is too great to be left unheralded. Reece begs for the chance to be his student, his protege.

Archimedes will then recount the last time he head such request and we will journey back to his meeting with Cayce.

Once this part of the interlude has been finished we shall move on to the meeting with Cayce, I have a plan in mind already for this.

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Dear Sir,
>
>I am represented by Hill & Hill Literary Agency. Unfortunately, this agency has recently had a business/personal crisis and gone out of business precipitately. The principal agent, Mr Christopher Hill, is uncontactable by email, phone or post.
>
>I believe he submitted one of my novels to you some months ago, and that it has since made some progress through your reading system. I am trying to contact some one within your organisation who might know what has happened to it.
>
>The book is provisionally titled The Reluctant Spy and is a spy/terrorist thriller.
>
>Thanks for your help,
>
>Eric George
>================
>Eric & Jola George
>PO Box 901,
>Cooktown, Queensland 4895
>Australia
Proof of Chro]istopher's deseption

Mary

The contacts we used have come back with strong comments regarding the first part.

They felt that we would be better segmenting the parts, so we draw conclusion to each episode later in the work, thus the conclusion of the Atlantis section will come later with the conclusion of the arthurian section. We have tentative links to submit and will be looking to begin this over the next few weeks.

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Mary

Right here we go. I need you to send me an email just stating that you are happy for me to sign in your place. This I will attach with the contract and send back. When we receive the real contract I will fed-ex you a copy with return postage for your signature. Karen Woolworth will be the gal who will phone you when the real contract arrives, she will go through the minute details of the real contract, I will as well but Karen is a contract lawyer by proffession and will be able to answer questions directly. I can answer most questions but she knows publishing law globally whilst my area is more european.

The interim contract states that they (Gryphon) and you (Mary Kellis) are bound by contract on the proviso the following conditions are met.

Being clause 1a, the second novel in the Atlantis series is completed with edit by the close of May 2007. That this work is provided by the named author (Mary Kellis) and no other. That this work is secured as copyright to the named author (Mary Kellis), and meets requirements to the publisher (Gryphon).

2a That after the work is received and reviewed that they (Gryphon) will offer a standard publication contract for books One and Two of the Atlantis series by the named author (Mary Kellis) and will await contract negotiation from the named authors (Mary Kellis) representatives. (That would be me!!)

3a This interim contract binds the publisher (Gryphon) and the named author (Mary Kellis), and that the named author (Mary Kellis) may not submit anywhere else until this deadline had passed and |Gryphon has declined publication.

4a The publisher (Gryphon) promises to submit a contract that meets requirements with industry norm for a first time author and welcomes contract negotiation.

5a The publisher will submit detailed plans for promotion and publicity and welcomes input though discretional.


That is about it, send the email asap and I can get the interim contract back with them today.

C.

This should pretty much prove my innocense and one more I do apologize for bein so stupid.
Thank you,
Lanaia


#522 ::: Individ-ewe-al ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:12 AM:

Teresa, are you ok? Maybe it's just the gremlin which causes mistakes to appear in any comment criticizing another poster's writing style, but your comment at 520 is way, way less coherent than anything you normally write. I hope this doesn't come across as gratuitous grammar snark, scoring points over an extraneous article or a mispelling of a regular poster's name. It's just not like you to post at 3 am and make any errors at all.

#523 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:26 AM:

Individ-ewe-al @ 522: If you're referring to the first line of Teresa's 520, that was clearly marked with [snark]-[/snark] tags. Clearly. Perhaps they did not show up on your browser, in which case you need to upgrade. HTH.

#524 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:36 AM:

"Bryan I saw that don't you think for a moment that I didn't lizzie did too also scraps if he's reading this and many more besides so there"

don't blame me mum, it was me that was done up. It was all that horrible Cory Doctorow that did covet my ham and beans. He stole my ham and beans and ate them up, and said it was fair abuse. Wasn't nothing fair, and that's why I did it. Honest Engine.

#525 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:39 AM:

damn. I really want to plagiarise 521, and use it to wrap all my other plagiarisms in this thread into one beautiful fit of megaplagia. I guess though that would make me not just a bad person, but a super-evil person!


maybe if I just do it at home and then burn it afterwards.

#526 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:47 AM:

this is just to say

I eated
the vengeance
you saved

which you probly
wanted to eats
later

sorry-
but it was cold
and yummy

kthx bye.


#527 ::: Individ-ewe-al ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:52 AM:

Pyre, not even slightly, the opening line was perfectly obvious parody. I was hesitating whether I should point out that I had realized that, and it seems I made the wrong call. I was referring to things that (very mildly) fail to make sense: and life's been a tough since then or posted to in James Nicoll's LJ. With anyone else I wouldn't dream of nitpicking such trivialities, but it's not like Teresa.

The only reason I noticed at all is that I'm used to the feeling that Teresa's sentences are so clear that she might as well impart meaning directly to my brain. Whereas with the comment at 520 I had to go back over them to make sure I'd understood what she meant, and it was in rereading that I noticed the minor errors of wording. From someone with Teresa's exceptional verbal skill, that was enough to make me concerned. But it may well be that I'm over-analysing or being intrusive.

#528 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:07 AM:

Lanaia @ 521:

Death is an old nemesis of mine after losing my parents, my siblings, six children, and almost my own life, which a lot of you think is funny, but be in a wheelchair for fifteen years, an I think you would change your mind.
"which a lot of you think is funny"??? No-one here has suggested that either death or disability is "funny". Many people here are facing their own health struggles, and are still reeling from the recent deaths (in too-rapid succession) of beloved writers, friends, and fellow bloggers. But these never claimed others' work as their own, nor tried to use their problems as an excuse for inexcusable behavior. It is the use of such an excuse that people here object to, as not "funny" but contemptible.
Of Atlantis was scheduled for release at the end of the month, but now my attorneys, my agent, my publishers and I have put the book on hold until we can resolve this matter.
It's wonderful that you were able to reach all these people on a weekend. Now, what about taking down the plagiarized prologue from all the sundry sites where you posted it, and explaining to their readers whose text it really was? Or will you wait and let the ISPs be served with DCMA takedown notices, which I suspect might not endear you to their webmasters?

#529 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:11 AM:

Lanaia @521:
Death is an old nemesis of mine after losing my parents, my siblings, six children, and almost my own life, which a lot of you think is funny

Where has anyone said that? It's simply not true.

None of us think that the challenges you have to overcome are funny. No one could. The disabled people who have posted here - Teresa, Bruce, Marilee, among others - have never received anything but sympathy and support in this community.

I've never mentioned this on Making Light, but I miscarried once, in 2000, and it nearly broke my heart. I'm sure other posters here have suffered worse. Others here have lost parents, partners, friends and siblings, and have found support here. We, as a community, have been reeling for a year now over the loss of one of our dearest members, John M Ford, who was unwell for many years before he died.

The thing is, we don't use our losses or limitations as an excuse for bad behaviour. And we, collectively, have such a pool of suffering and grief endured that we won't stand for anyone else doing so either.

You say you've been working on these books for years now. I admire that level of persistence, particularly in the light of your life story*. And I have nothing but contempt for the people who have used and abused that determination to make money off of you.

Some of the posters here - particularly Bruce Baugh here, have given you advice on how to move on from this, and use your persistence and courage to do the things you want to do. It's a recipe for hard work, but so are many worthwhile things.

But telling us we all hate you because you're disabled? Not so much.

-----
* See, you can leverage disability, to enhance an honour already earned. It just doesn't work the other way round, as an excuse.

#530 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:26 AM:

Abi... I'm sorry to hear about that.

#531 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:43 AM:

Serge @530:
It seems a cheat to bring it up, actually, because I did go on to have two healthy children, the elder of whom could not have been born if the first pregnancy had carried on.

But I remember well the bleak day when I started bleeding in that second pregnancy, though all was well in the end. Six would be...very hard indeed. So I would take the head of anyone who treated that aspect of Lanaia's story lightly, and I would mount it on a nice sharp pike outside my gates, and let the ravens come. And I am usually a nice person.

But no one does that here, and that is my point.

#532 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:49 AM:

We indeed don't do that here, Abi, and those that would, would do it only once as they'd experience a verbal ton of bricks falling on their heads.

#533 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:52 AM:

Serge @532
they'd experience a verbal ton of bricks falling on their heads

...which would hurt the ravens, who are a protected species in many areas.

#534 ::: Simon Bradshaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:54 AM:

Lanaia @ 521

I can scarcely believe my eyes.

If I was your lawyer, I would be pleading with you to STOP POSTING ABOUT THIS. Everything you are saying is making it worse for you.

You admit that you had heard about Hill's reputation, but you carried on dealing with him. Do you have any idea how damaging this admission is to you if you get sued? You have admitted in a public forum that you had notice of his dishonesty, and that you had details of the text being produced. Your claim that you were a completely innocent dupe of Hill's is going to get very difficult to support in court.

How can I make this clear? You are heading into the kind of legal trouble that DESTROYS PEOPLE'S LIVES. And everything you are saying here is making it worse for you.

For your own sake, stop posting about this and let your lawyers deal with it.

#535 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:58 AM:

abi #529: I'm sorry to hear that. It's not an easy thing to deal with.

#536 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 07:00 AM:

Abi @ 533... which would hurt the ravens, who are a protected species in many areas

And the cawsts of such a crime are deservedly great.

#537 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 07:00 AM:

#521. You really aren't getting this, are you?

I can totally understand why everyone thought I copied the work of the deceased author.

Yeah. Because you did. And since you're leaving up that excerpt, you are in fact continuing to do so.

Death is an old nemesis of mine after losing my parents, my siblings, six children, and almost my own life, which a lot of you think is funny, but be in a wheelchair for fifteen years, an I think you would change your mind.

See, right there? Where you played the disability card?

That doesn't work here. It has not worked in the past. It will not work in the future. The readers here are not going to forgive your plagiarism because of it. Please stop playing it.

If you're wondering *why* it isn't working, try rereading the comments of others on this thread and thinking about the content instead of mentally tagging it as "attack" and moving on.

I am truly sorry that you've been scammed. But if you really want to tell stories, and have other people read them -- spending your time here trying to excuse yourself is not going to help you do that.

Take down the excerpt. Fire your agent. And then get started on writing your own stories, in your own words.

If you want to self-publish, lulu.com will produce books for you without requiring a scam agent or a scam press as your go-through.

#538 ::: SallyQ ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 07:25 AM:

As someone who is disabled, admittedly not from a stroke, I'm deeply offended that the disability card is being played here. And as others have said, we've all suffered losses and pain in our lives. Death is the nemesis of us all and you don't have a monopoly on pain, Lanaia. But it's no excuse for dodging responsibility for our actions.

I'm disturbed by the fact that Lanaia's post starts with her own problems and only mentions the pain caused to David Gemmell's family right at the end of that section. What she's saying is what she's suffered in her life is far more important than anything anyone else has ever gone through. Important to her maybe, and we all have our crosses to bear, but in this case I think Lanaia should be a little less self-absorbed and consider others' feelings first.

#539 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 08:17 AM:

I have a feeling that someone has told Lanaia that she is being attacked here on the grounds of her disability, and she has not chosen to take the time to read everything in this thread to decide for herself whether or not this is in fact true.

My faith in the lowest rungs of humanity is poor enough that it wouldn't surprise me to hear that the bloodsuckers who have been feeding on her have used that tactic on her in the past. It's a great conman tactic - create an enemy and then let the mark willingly ally themselves with you so you can protect them against all those mean villagers with torches and pitchforks who are marching on their castle gates. "You can't quite see them yet, but I know they're coming for you because I read it on the internets! Quick, hide in my back room and start sewing wallets for export as a cover."

#540 ::: Anna ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 08:46 AM:

Lanaia @521.

I sincerely hope you have not used any more of "Mr Hill's" chapter outlines within your book, as it is full of David Gemmell characters, settings and plot ideas. Of which there are too many to list here.

Admit defeat and give up on 'Of Atlantis'.

#541 ::: Vern ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 08:55 AM:

I think this is worthy of a read as it seems Lanaia is far from the only person to be duped.

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/culturevulture/archives/2006/10/20/will_the_real_c.html

#542 ::: Afterthought ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:01 AM:

I wonder, could this thread make it into the Guinness Book of Records? Then Lanaia would be in a real book that's actually published.

#543 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:04 AM:

Individ-ewe-al, I'm tempted to say I was spiritually get in touch with my own inner brain lesions, but the truth is I should never try to write parodies at 0300. I've tidied up and shortened #520.

The irritation was real. You saw how Marilee reacted to LL excusing herself on the grounds that she'd suffered a severe stroke? The line I keep wanting to say is "Yeah, right -- like you guys think you're the only brain-damage cases in this conversation?" However, I suspect that one has to be a brain-damage case to really get the joke.

At the same time, I have to acknowledge that Lanaia got hit harder than most of us. After watching her here, I'll be surprised if she actually takes down the Gemmell. I'll bet you she'd gotten to thinking of it as hers, and loved it. I'll bet you she loved the whole idea that she could still make something. Shaking loose of it is going to be painful.

I've occasionally been asked why Jim and I put so much time and effort into chasing down scams aimed at wanna-be writers. (I'm sure they wonder about Ann and Victoria, too; they just don't ask me to explain them.) Comment #521 should go a long way toward answering that. If the steady drumbeat of payments didn't do it, or the disclaimer about how they don't save correspondence that's more than a week old, there's this passage:

Mary

Your chapter 11 was very good, the final scene was perfect. Watch your language at time though, you swutch between an older style to more modern expressions. For example:

You have written: "I promise you this I shall avenge your death! Uric caused this and he is a dead man!"

Whereas it would read better as: "I promise upon my soul your death will not go unavenged. I will not rest until I have hunted him down, and his blood stains the very land we live upon."

The rest of the work was good but your diaglogue was a little contrived at times, the characters need a less formal approach, it makes them less wooden..
An experienced old pro couldn't make sense or use of that advice. Which is okay, because he wouldn't be trying to. He'd think it was meant as a joke.

You know what one of the big differences is between Christopher Hill and other scammers? Hill is as wicked as any of them, but he actually engages with the writers and their texts. Some scammers don't even open the evelopes the manuscripts come in. They send back form letters, and let the writers add their own sound and motion and color, imagining that the agents' generic responses are the product of long and thoughtful engagement with their work. They're just that vulnerable.

Cheryl Pillsbury is far from being the worst of her kind. She's a piker. But just as Christopher Hill took Lanaia's money to not really write a book, Cheryl took her money to not really act as her agent by "selling" her work to a vanity press. That vanity press is going to take her money to not really publish her book -- printing courtesy of Lulu.com, distribution courtesy of a listing in the Ingram database, editing and design and marketing courtesy of no one. They don't do anything -- though, if you give them an additional four or five hundred dollars, they'll write you a press release, and send it out to a list of reviewers they know aren't going to review it. And as Jim pointed out, Roval plagiarized the text in which they offer this writing service.

Cheryl would never have known how to run her scam if she hadn't already had similar ones run on her. She's fallen for Xlibris' promises of distribution, and PublishAmerica's promises of editing, and whatever it was she saw in Outskirts. Now that she's hung out her shingle as an agent, she favors Roval, "because they work with the author one on one." She's never seen them in operation, but they told her they'd do it, so she believes them.

This folly is fractal: the longer you look at it, the more of it there is.

#544 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:18 AM:

Teresa... "I promise upon my soul your death will not go unavenged."

By Gramtha's Hammer!

#545 ::: Someone who knows ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:26 AM:

It feels like this argument could continue for weeks. There is no dispute that the work was lifted from another book and there has been no attempt to cover that fact up. There has however been a lot of comments that have been unwisely made by many different parties.

Irrispective of "our" views on the matter, surely it would make more sense to back off and let the matter get sorted legally and professionally.

Both the original (and sadly passed) author and Lanaia have been victims here and the most important factors are clear-

Ensuring the rightful owner is identified and publicly credited.

Removal of said material from Lanaia's site, including publishing a full statement covering events replacing the text.

A full and formal public appology from Lanaia to both the authors family and publisher.

I cannot see how Lanaia posting here is going to improve the situation. We are just bystanders on this and really the main players should take centre stage in private to sort this matter.

I don't know the full story so I'm not qualified to make judements here. I will however say I don't feel Lanaia is a bad person. Just someone who is guilty of being easily lead and mistrusting the advice of scammers. Perhaps everyone has suffered enough now.

#546 ::: Jackie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:48 AM:

Bill #539--Dear little Lanaia is reading every word. She responded to a crack I made on Dear Author here at ML. She's lapping it up. And will continue to do so until Mr. Gemmell's estate makes her stop.

#547 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:20 AM:

abi @ 529

I am sorry to hear about that, and very glad that you were able to have two clearly delightful children. It would not surprise me to find that miscarriages are much more common that we know because so many people tough it out and don't say anything; I would prefer that wasn't true, because that's just the time when the support of friends and loved ones is most needed.

Eva's first pregnancy miscarried, and it was almost three years before our older son was conceived; we were very concerned that she could not conceive or carry a child; but our two have worked out very well. I'm glad you didn't have to wait so long.

#548 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:50 AM:

Lanaia #521:

My husband talked me into self publishing because he thinks the book is that good and he thinks when it is in book stores, the book will literary blast off, because he thinks it is that good.

Lanaia -- I was one of the people, three years ago, who was posting warnings about Hill & Hill. Please listen to me now.

Your husband is mistaken. Your self-published book will not be in any bookstores. It will not "blast off." No one will buy it. No one will read it.

If you go, in person, to your local bookstore and beg the manager, he or she may place one copy (that you bought and paid for yourself) on the shelf, but that will be as far as it goes. That book will just sit there, unless someone you already know buys it at your direct request.

Should you do that, the bookstore manager will not be so encouraged that he or she will order a whole bunch more, and everyone will read and love it. This will not happen.

Roval claims that they will put your book into the "Distribution Channel" for $495. That is, it'll be assigned an ISBN -- exactly the same service that Lulu provided them for $150. Roval is taking $345 from you for doing nothing.

Roval claims that they will arrange an author signing event for $1,495 (with a 4-6 month turn around). They claim that they will get "Retail Store Placement" for another $1,995 (with a 6 month to one year turnaround). These are ripoffs. They cannot get national retail store placement. It is beyond their ability. It is possible that Jeromil Valencia has a "retail store" in the back bedroom of his house in North Richland Hills, Texas, but that's the best that your $2K would buy you.

The list of useless and expensive services Jeromil offers goes on: Business cards at $79 for 150, bookmarks at $79 for 100, and postcards at $199 for 100. For $995 plus $495/month he'll send email spam to a half-a-million addresses.

This is all worthless. If you pay one dime you will have wasted that dime. Not just to Roval: to any "self-publishing service." (iUniverse, Xlibris, AuthorHouse, etc. etc. etc.)

Avoid PublishAmerica too, unless you have a real desire to be on the receiving end of genuine emotional abuse.

Do not, under any circumstances, pay any money whatever to any agent, for any reason.

If you must, absolutely must, self-publish, just get a Lulu.com account and upload the raw text. You can do it 100% for free.

#549 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:56 AM:

In addition to what Jim said above, the next thing you need to do is rewrite your book. You'll need advice about how to do it. There are plenty of online writers' groups that can give much better advice than the advice Hill was giving you. I'm a member of two: Absolute Write and Forward Motion. Both of them would welcome you and can help you write a book that has a chance of being published by a real publisher, and actually getting onto those shelves that a self-publishing company won't get you on.

#550 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 11:01 AM:

Business cards at $79 for 150, bookmarks at $79 for 100, and postcards at $199 for 100.

You can get these for far less money by buying the materials at an office-supply store and printing them at home. Probably faster, too. Even your local quick-print place (or office-supply place) can do them for less than what these guys are charging.

#551 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 11:13 AM:

Folks, we are wasting our time. Lanaia has her fingers in her ears. It's been real. I'm taking a long walk. See you over the hills and far away.

#552 ::: tasha ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 11:28 AM:

Lanaia,

Just out of curiosity - if Christopher Hill was involved in only the prologue and chapters 1-4 of your book, why have you posted e-mails detailing chapters 8-12?

#553 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 11:59 AM:

I'm about done, at least when it comes to offering advice. Lanaia's going to suffer more than she needed to for this set of follies, and it looks very much like she'll go on to do it again, and in the meantime she'll be wasting a lot of effort and a lot of money, missing the real opportunities for someone with enthusiasm to tell a tale and share it with others who might like it too. But there's only so many times one cares to get mocked for trying to warn another of impending dangers.

#554 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 12:04 PM:

Crane will print 100 business cards, on Crane stock, for $84 and ship them free.

#555 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 12:18 PM:

Teresa (#543): This folly is fractal: the longer you look at it, the more of it there is. And Lizzy L (#551): Folks, we are wasting our time. Lanaia has her fingers in her ears. Both statements are sadly true. I just wish they didn't remind me so much of our current government.

As for all the responses to my query about Lulu.com -- thanks, folks! Mom will have to hire someone to retype it all or scan it, to turn it into a .pdf file (and digitalize some photos), since *I'm* not sufficiently up-to-date, but from there it should be relatively clear sailing.

#556 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 12:23 PM:

According to our friend Cheryl Pillsbury (remember her?), you can get business cards for free from Vista-Print. This turns out to be true, though you do have to pay for shipping. The cards have a small Vista-Print advert on the back, but they are indeed free. I see them all the time from local small businesses.

#557 ::: Steven Gould ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 12:31 PM:

[glyph of open jawness]

Now, more than ever, you will believe. A Train. Can. Wreck.

(In stoooooopid-rama. Sound by Stunnedacoustics.)

#558 ::: shannon ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 12:33 PM:

Just curious??????????????

QUOTES:
and I used them because I wasted almost two years of my life with Christopher.

Pathetic? I fired Christopher before I finshed the book. He was there for the prologue and chapters 1-4, the rest IS mine


The rest of the work was good but your diaglogue was a little contrived at times, the characters need a less formal approach, it makes them less wooden..

Chapter 12

Key points.

Mary

Here is the outline for the interlude.

Once this part of the interlude has been finished we shall move on to the meeting with Cayce, I have a plan in mind already for this.

Hill and Hill Literary Agency

#559 ::: Jane ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 12:49 PM:

Apparently Lee can add content to her site but not delete it.

I did get a really bad cold this weekend and wasn't able to sleep well last night. Do I blame that on the Wicca tenfold curse?

#560 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:02 PM:

Jane, I think that can be blamed on Autumn.

Unfortunately reading that is hurting my eyes. I dislike her writing style. Maybe it is just me.

#561 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:21 PM:

Tracie @ 556: Eep. I'm not sure how to take Cheryl Pillsbury's recommendation of VistaPrint. If it's the same company, the VistaPrint I know has a long, long list of consumer complaints against it. Apparently they have a habit of reusing people's credit card information in various and (at best) borderline ethical/legal ways--can't do a link, but if you google "vistaprint" and "complaints" you should get a screenful.

#562 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:23 PM:

A bit of non-constructive criticism:
The new prologue reads like a middle school writing assignment - high school concepts, maybe, but middle school execution. Or maybe it's more like the sort of fanfiction that gives fanfic a bad name - just in terms of writing quality, that is. Crossover furry porn slash fic also gives fanfic a bad name, IMO, but in a different way.

For starters:
Archamedes/Archanedes/Archimedes (It only took her three tries but she finally got it right!)
Atlantis/Atlanta (I blame this on both Christopher Hill and you guys with Atlantis Nights / Atlanta Nights.)

#563 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:26 PM:

Oh, dear.

#564 ::: DamaNegra ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:32 PM:

Oh, my. At first, I was willing to believe in Lanaia's innocence and that she had just been another victim, but she seems too determined to continue with this farce to capture my sympathy for long.

Lanaia, you should just put your act together and give a coherent story. Did Hill just work on chapters 1-4 or, as the mails you posted suggest, was involved in the whole of the process? And why aren't you taking all that stuff out of your website?

#565 ::: DamaNegra ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:34 PM:

Hmmm never mind, the prologue has been changed on her page. I'm still curious about which chapters Hill worked on, though.

#566 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:35 PM:

Avery do-it-yourself business cards are the bomb. Not pricey, nice stock, easy to separate out and don't look ragged. I used them to make personal cards for a couple dozen people at the old job after a massive layoff (handouts for a headhunter party), cost me just a few dollars and a couple of hours to make a nice template and personalize the batches.

#567 ::: Sally Quilford ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:44 PM:

The prologue has been changed in one part of her site, but the original extract is still here

http://www.alongstoryshort.net/OfAtlantis.html

#568 ::: shannon ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:46 PM:

Used VistaPrint for years...love'em

#569 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:47 PM:

According to Lee, her webmistress has to remove the material, and she's got a request in to her.

But as Jane pointed out, apparently she can add material, at least on her home page on that site.

#570 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:48 PM:

#564 DamaNegra:

No, the prologue has not been changed on her page. It's still up at http://www.alongstoryshort.net/OfAtlantis.html, David Gemmell's prose from start to finish.

#571 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:48 PM:

Bill (566), that's a kind idea. I'll remember it the next time I'm in the vicinity of a mass firing.

Sally (567), that does it. If she can change the Prologue, she can take down the infringing material.

#572 ::: DamaNegra ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:50 PM:

She does seem to have put the plagiarized text on too many places. Although she has been deleting or changing them.

The plagiarized prologue can still be found here:
http://www.poetsandstorytellers.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2785
http://forums.gotblack.com/viewthread.php?tid=21640&page=1#pid294879
http://sick66.forumco.com/topic~TOPIC_ID~3409.asp
http://creativeconsciousness63643.yuku.com/topic/15017/t/Prologue-from-my-new-novel-Of-Atlantis.html
(list posted on AW, I'm just copying it here)

#573 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:51 PM:

This started on the 11th of November, Lanaia, and as of 1:40pm today, 15 October, you still have the link to the plagiarized prologue on your website, even though you have put up protestations of your innocence there. One last time: the fact that you can add data, but not delete that link, is not working in your favor.

(I am saying nothing about your constant use of the disability card, but if you pull the "I've suffered loss" one again, I will probably lose my restraint. Your pain does not entitle you to behave unethically.)

#574 ::: tasha ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:52 PM:

#570:
At the bottom of her author info page, she's added a "new" prologue.

#575 ::: DamaNegra ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:52 PM:

#570 James:

The prologue's been changed here to a newer version. Check it out.

#576 ::: Sally Quilford ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 01:55 PM:

Okay, giving Lanaia the benefit of the doubt, it may be that Lanaia has access to her pages on that site, but not others. It looks as if Long Story Short hire out part of their webspace to writers, so they may have a password to get into their own page, but not others.

Judging by the file path, which is directly from the LSS site, the David Gemmell extract is on their part of the site, to which Lanaia might not have access.

That's me giving Lanaia the benefit of the doubt. Still, I'm sure someone said that they have emailed the owners of Long Story Short, so the question now - assuming Lanaia can't access the page - is why haven't they removed the plagiarised material?

#577 ::: Tim ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:00 PM:

Also, if you read that new prologue, all she's done is rewrite (badly) Gemmell's work. It's the equivalent of my 9 year old doing a report by copying the encyclopedia and then changing the words.

#578 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:03 PM:

Glinda (at #511), I'm beginning to wonder if some of the people who post here suffer from the same bad mental tape that I do: the one that says, "If there's a communications glitch over something hurtful, it's probably my fault; if I could just find the right words to get through to X, they'd understand and stop it/fix it...".

I think that while I'll keep reading, I really have to stop posting to this thread, because I keep thinking that one of us, surely, can come up with a message that will get through to Lanaia (and Ian), even though the evidence indicates otherwise.

On the other hand, I'm grateful to everyone who has tried restating and clarifying issues.

#579 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:08 PM:

For those who may wish (for whatever perverse reasons) to find more of Mary/Lanaia's original(?) work, one of her other popular aliases seems to be "abbey74". Frex, braaaaaaiiiins.

Milton, thou shouldst be reversifying about the silvery Tay at this hour. At least by comparison.

Ow.

#580 ::: aggie ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:10 PM:

Yes, but the old excerpt is still up.

And from her Yellbox:

"Lanaia: I AM INNOCENT, I will have my attorney contact Jane and Jim, you know slander is a bad thing. I am even going to take a polygraph,I WI LL sue"

Btw, it would be libel, not slander.

#581 ::: DamaNegra ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:17 PM:

Tim @ 577:

Yes, the characters, events and storyline of her prologue are the same as the plagiarized version. Which leads to the question: how much rewritting needs to be done for the work to stop being plagiarized? Changing characters, some but not all events, or writing an altogether new book? I can't help but think that there are many, many books out there that have basically the same storyline and very similar characters, so where do we draw a line?

#582 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:18 PM:

aggie @ 580: And accusations of libel would be a little less ludicrous if she didn't still have a link to the evidence against libel (and for plagiarism) on her website.

Even if she can only effect her personal page and not the separate plagiarized prologue page, HER PERSONAL PAGE STILL LINKS TO IT. If you can't take down the page, at least take down the damn link to it.

#583 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:19 PM:

Whoops: effect / affect. I hope that's not someone's pet peeve.

#584 ::: Tim ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:22 PM:

DamaNegra @ 581

Yeah, I wouldn't hazard a guess at where something becomes plagiarism. I do know that it's disrespectful and lazy.

#585 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:24 PM:

#581 DamaNegra

It takes, as I understand it, rather a *lot* of rewriting to get one out of such a hole. Changing names, location, time period, etc., wasn't enough to help Regine Deforges, at any rate.

(As a side note, I remember reading The Blue Bicycle as a young teenager and thinking, "Huh, isn't this more than somewhat like GWTW??")

#586 ::: DamaNegra ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:29 PM:

I followed the link on Sarah's #585. Deforges was sued because 70 pages of the first book in a three-book trilogy were similar (in a very broad sense of the word) with Gone With The Wind. I think that is a bit too much, I'm sure there are other novels who are very much alike to other that can't be accused of plagiarism.

So the question pops out again. Where do we draw a line between plagiarism and having a similar idea?

#587 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:45 PM:

#576 --

Perhaps, but the link to the plagiarized material is still on the very same page where she's been adding material.

=============

BTW, a big Making Light Hello to Christopher Hill!

Hey, buddy, there are some folks who wish you'd get back in touch and say "Hi!" Start with Edinburgh police. I'm sure they'd like to have your current home address.

#588 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:47 PM:

Bill @ 556

In fact, for those who doubt their ability to layout a template (it's not hard, but some people feel overwhelmed in the face of any sort of graphic task), you can download MS Word* template files for common card styles from avery.com.

* I know, I know, but that's the least common denominator for office work. Emphasis on least.

#589 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:47 PM:

Dama Negra, I would put it this way: you can have a protagonist that happens to be the only son of a planetary leader and who uses a pseudonym to serve his planet while traveling undercover among his planet's enemies; if you also make him a very short person with teratogenic (sp?) mutations, a legendary mother who rescued a prince and ended a coup d'etat, a cloned brother, a cousin who plays the fool but always comes through, and a number of strange friends including some who have four hands instead of two -- I would expect you would have a couple of cease-and-desist letters from Bujold and/or her publisher sooner than you can say Vorkosigan.

There are plenty of books out there who put a new spin on an old idea. But no matter how you write and rewrite, you cannot appropriate a plot AND a set of characters and not expect trouble.

#590 ::: Jane ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:49 PM:

I think it depends on whether you are drawing the line at plagiarism or infringement. To me, plagiarism is more of an ethical concept that is enforced in the court system through the use of the copyright act. I.e., plagiarism can be defined more broadly.

Thus because an idea is not copyrightable, simply the expression of that idea, a rewritten version of an original is not likely to be copyright infringement.

I think this is similar to the debate of whether fan fiction is infringing. I've always found it to be ironic that the fan fiction that stays closest to the canon is the most infringing (but possibly the least objectionable) whereas the fan fiction that violates, deviates or completely ignores the canon is likely to be the least infringing.

#591 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:54 PM:

I too have a lawyer and plan to sue. I will also take a polograph test. I have posted an apology on my website and a brief explaination of what happened. Slander is a no-no.

#592 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:57 PM:

Where do we draw a line between plagiarism and having a similar idea?

Among other things, copying has to be, you know copying. Independently arriving at a similar plot can't by definition by copyright infringement. The plaintiff would have to show that the defendant had access to and copied the material.

Compare to patents, where independent discovery does not protect against accusations of infringement,

#593 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 02:59 PM:

Cheryl @ 591: Slander is spoken. If you tried to sue for libel, it might actually be relevant, although you'd still lose.

#594 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:00 PM:

#591

That will be interesting, especially when you get asked what you've been doing for her money, and what your professional qualifications are.

More popcorn, anyone?

#595 ::: aggie ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:02 PM:

So it seems both of them are planning to sue

#596 ::: glinda, who is not necessarily good ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:05 PM:

Catching up, here...

Bruce @ 517: *agreement*

Abi @ 529: I'm sorry for your loss.

Teresa @ 543: The line I keep wanting to say is "Yeah, right -- like you guys think you're the only brain-damage cases in this conversation?" However, I suspect that one has to be a brain-damage case to really get the joke.

Hey, *somebody* had to say it. *snicker*

DamaNegra @ 564: Yeah, I started out with that "benefit of doubt" thing, too, and have given up on it. Rule 1 when you find yourself in a hole? Stop digging. (Learned that one the hard way, too.)

Bill @ 566: Avery do-it-yourself business cards are the bomb. Yep. Have made them for other people as well as for myself. And they're ridiculously easy if you know Word.

Velma @ 573: Your pain does not entitle you to behave unethically. That's going into my quotefile, so I can remember it. Beautifully succinct; thank you.

and @ 578: Ah. I no longer think Lanaia is actually reading for comprehension here; we can't help her. (See above re: holes, digging deeper.)

#597 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:06 PM:

Wow, I thought that Cheryl post at #591 was someone making a joke, but I guess not.

#598 ::: Leslie in CA ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:09 PM:

Having read every comment in this thread, I must say I find the principals' level of resistance to good advice, good manners, common sense, and learning from their mistakes to be extraordinary.

#599 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:14 PM:

#591 Cheryl: I will also take a polograph test.

"Yes, officer, it really is my horse!"

#600 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:16 PM:

..."I rode it all by myself!"

#601 ::: DB ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:17 PM:

So, essentially, Cheryl and Lanaia are suing because people were mean to them on the Internet?

Oh.

#602 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:18 PM:

JDM @ 365:

I think these guys have moved from the Yet-Another-Clueless-POD-Vanity-Press basement to a whole new level.

Or even a hole new level?

Emma @ 350:

Haven't these folks heard the old saw about "when you're in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging?"

Glinda @ 596:

Rule 1 when you find yourself in a hole? Stop digging.

Obviously, they are hard at work at making a sub-basement.

#603 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:22 PM:

Owlmirror @ 602

I think they must be into the second sub-basement by now. It's going to look like the east wing of the Central Library in LA (four levels below ground, none of them small).

#604 ::: Leslie in CA ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:23 PM:

Owlmirror @602, Cheryl did say she prefers the Underworld.

#605 ::: dave ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:28 PM:

To join in on the off-topic calling card stuff, I've always found the various Avery (and other brands) card templates with perforations to be on very light card stock, and real calling cards should be pretty heavy stock.

Also, the templates never seem to line up properly and I end up wasting one sheet 'calibrating' the printer.

These days, I get nice heavy card in A4 from an art store, a sharp knife and a good ruler, and just cut them up at home.

This gives you the freedom to choose your own shape and size and texture too, if you're feeling artistic.

#606 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:29 PM:

Leslie @#604: Actually, I first misread "Underworld" as "Underwood", as in the manual typewriter.

I wonder what an Underworld typewriter would look like?

#607 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:32 PM:

ethan @ 597

There have been many times in the last few days when I wondered whether this whole train wreck was a joke, or a sockpuppet play, but by now I think Occam has retired from the field unbeaten, and we just have to blame stupidity and unwillingness to unstop the ears and stop singing "Lalalalalala" to prevent hearing all the good advice.

#608 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:33 PM:

On the topic of misreadings, I have a persistent Lainia -> Lamia shift.

#609 ::: Duncan J Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:40 PM:

Owlmirror @ 606:

Are you asking after the Manual, or the Soul-Powered version? Each has its peculiarities, although each model does lack certain letters, depending on the language chosen. We, after all, have no wish of involuntarily invoking the Forces of Non-Dark, or naming He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.
Prices are negotiable, and each order does come with an authentically bound scroll containing our agreement, to be signed in blood, prior to delivery.

Sincerely,


Mephistopheles
Regional Sales Manager
Underworld Typewriter Company, LLLP

#610 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:40 PM:

Perhaps they're trying to join forces with "Chris Oliver".

#611 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:50 PM:

Owlmirror @602, I think it's no longer a hole, it's a tunnel to China!

#612 ::: Leslie in CA ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 03:58 PM:

Duncan J Macdonald @ 609,

Can the Soul-Powered version only be used by those who have souls, or is an adapter available? Similarly, does the scroll have to be signed in one's own blood?

#613 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:00 PM:

@608 I keep wanting to read it Llama...

**cringes**

Cheryl #1 it isn't Slander, it's Libel.
#2 the entire internet has proof from screen caps to your own damning comments that you behaved in error.

What is there to sue about?
People called you out and let it be known you have taken advantage of your clients?

Has anyone let the publishing company know that they still have the stolen material up?

#614 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:02 PM:

Emma @ 611: Or maybe rather, a tunnel to the Underworld?

Perhaps this whole convoluted business is actually an attempt to get some damned typewriters?

#615 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:02 PM:

Emma @ 611: Well, it IS a lot easier to sell plagiarized books in China... Maybe when Lanaia said her agent thought her book was the new Harry Potter, she meant that "Of Atlantis" : "Dark Prince" :: "Harry Potter and the Filler of Big" : "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone".

#616 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:04 PM:

Owlmirror #611:

Coffee, meet keyboard. And it was such good coffee, too!

#617 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:07 PM:

I'm assuming a polograph is a time and motion study. "This part is all me, and this part is the horse I rode in on."

#618 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:19 PM:

Owlmirror @614: I'm putting in an order for an old Underwood mechanical typewriter, not the portable one, the one with the high back. My father had one he knicknamed "the double barrelled shotgun" because whenever it was making Os or zeros it would leave a perfect hole with a small perfect ink rim... Mine not only has to repeat the sounds, but also create the effects in real life...hee hee hee...

The only thing is, no contracts in blood. Cash on the barrelhead but no blood.

#619 ::: dave ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:28 PM:

I want an UnderWired typewriter for my upcoming Wampyre!©™ novel.

It should also come with a heavy duty file for removing serial numbers.

#620 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:31 PM:

I want an UnderWired typewriter for my upcoming Wampyre!©™ novel.

Premium support for sagging storylines?

#621 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:38 PM:

The friend who sent me a link to this homemade video to go with Petra Haden's a capella performance of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" didn't know about this thread. And yet I think the video speaks an inner truth that applies here.

#622 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:40 PM:

dave @ 619: Shouldn't that be Waaaaaaampyre to account for all the internet whining about unfair reviews and accusations that will inevitably occur?

#623 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:49 PM:

And from Cheryl,in lania's yahoo group:

"I spent the entire week and nights investigating this issue; it is true Mr. Hill did purposely copy David Gemmell's book into hers. We have placed the book on hold to re-write the prologue, which she did. I also have an employee that will do a page-by-page comparison of the two books, which I personally bought. Before we attack and injure the
wrong the person, we should look at who started this first, Mr. Hill and you should know that Ms. Lee would never do such a thing. We both never heard of this writer or his books. WE ARE GOING TO SUE!!!! Who else wants to join the party???"

Guys, help me out: What do I wear to a lawsuit party?

#624 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:54 PM:

Shawn @623: the traditional dress would be a natty one-piece in black and white stripe, silk preferably, although velvet will do in a pinch. Don't let the salesperson sell you one of those tacky orange jumpsuits.

#625 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 04:54 PM:

Shawn Struck #623:

Guys, help me out: What do I wear to a lawsuit party?

Briefs, of course.

#626 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:00 PM:

JulieB @ 625: Sob.

#627 ::: Holly ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:05 PM:

From Shawn Struck:

"Guys, help me out: What do I wear to a lawsuit party?"


Hmm... It depends.

If you are a Plaintiff or Defendant or an interested party wishing to show support for your side (and are seated on that side of the courtroom), a conservative and respectful approach to fashion is always good. It is best not to distract from the issue before the court, and in no event do you want to irk the judge - say, by being dressed more fashionably and expensively than he or she can afford to be.

If you are trying to tank the opponent, sit on their side dressed as loudly, flamboyantly, and distractingly as possible. Make sure to bring your pet peacock, for sound effects. :) Squeeze the bird tightly each time the other side yells, "Objection, Your Honor!" If you really want to be colorful and memorable, knit.

#628 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:05 PM:

If it's a kangaroo court, wear a necktie for the party afterwards.

#629 ::: Alma Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:14 PM:

Cheryl #591

I will also take a polograph test.

Sounds like something you do on the back of a pony with a mallet...

#630 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:15 PM:

Maybe I could dress like Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney!

Speaking of, I just couldn't help myself.

#631 ::: Marci Kiser ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:19 PM:

Lanaia: "Lanaia: I AM INNOCENT, I will have my attorney contact Jane and Jim, you know slander is a bad thing. I am even going to take a polygraph,I WI LL sue" (sic)

I suppose it's a useless gesture, but I would hope to point out for Ms. Kellis that a polygraph is a spectacularly bad idea.

Going beyond the fact that they're not admissible in court, her stated history of erratic hypertension makes it impossible to verify the results. It would be impossible for the examiner to gauge which fluctuations were the result of her condition and which were not (hence the 'erratic'). It's the same reason polygraphs make such excellent cardiovascular diagnostic tools when trying to gauge sympathetic neural influence.

Her condition could even have the machine register true statements as 'lies' if she's caught at the wrong moment. As I see it, a polygraph does not help her and potentially incriminates her.

As for Ms. Pillsbury, a polygraph for her would be largely useless, as she was not involved with any part of the actual plagiarism-for-hire and could not add any meaningful facts into evidence.

#632 ::: AJ Hall ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:21 PM:

Cheryl #591

Presumably a polograph is a test which costs a mint and shows up the holes in your testimony?

#634 ::: Holly ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:31 PM:

Here's Mr. P. Cock, modeling the latest fall fashions for the courtroom and demonstrating the proper response to an objection.

But a cautionary tale: Here's a turkey in a street fight with Mr. P. Cock. Perhaps, when dressing for court, you'll want to forgo any suit with long tails.

#635 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:34 PM:

Cheryl #591: Surely, for a polograph test, you really have to pony up.

#636 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:37 PM:

Owlmirror #606: An Underworld typewriter comes with its own 'rub-out' function, involving tommy guns.

#637 ::: Jeremy Preacher ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:40 PM:

As much as I have enjoyed the thread, it's approaching icky pile-on territory. I know it's hard to refrain when the subjects won't go away, but it's veering away from entertainment, for me - and has long since departed from education.

#638 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:41 PM:

Fragano @ 636

That explains why our hostess was trying out the tommy-gun: she has an Underworld typer on her desk!

#639 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:42 PM:

Can I derail for a moment, using the Underwood/Underwire segue to contribute to the plagiarism bit? Because interestingly enough, right when she first came around, Cheryl was saying something about writing of the underworld, which always brings to mind a plagiarism case I always thought was more blurry.

When Underworld, the movie with hot, leather-clad Kate Beckinsale (thank you, Mr. Wiseman) came out, a company called White Wolf sued Sony for plagiarism because of a list of something like 80 different "story similarities."

I read the list of 80 (or however many it was) but remained unconvinced.

Because, you see, both stories were, fundamentally, iterations of the Romeo and Juliet story. I.e., star-crossed lovers of different houses and etc.

The suit raised issues of similarity like that werewolves were called "lycans" (from, that's right, the word "lycanthrope") and the vampires elder class was called elders, and I always thought that was a bit silly. Because my argument was sort of, well, if you're going to have a group of characters who belong to specific class, the defining characteristic of which is that they're all Really Old . . . well, yeah. Elders. As in, respect yours.

(You can read the suit here.

Particularly stuff like points 55, 56, & 57, among others)

The thing that always most got me is that White Wolf, in their points list, directly asserted that their material was essentially a new perspective on Romeo and Juliet, which always made me think that if you're going to come right out and say you meant to rip off Shakespeare, it's hard to assert originality.

One of the plaintiffs was Nancy Collins, who wrote Sunglasses After Dark, and I also always wondered if Corey Hart ever had anything to say about that.

(of course, what Sony had, and White Wolf never did, was aforementioned hot, leather-clad Kate Beckinsale [or HLCKB, which might be the sole trademark most worth having, in fact])

By the way, JulieB made me laugh out loud at 625.

#640 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:43 PM:

P J Evans #638: Indeed so!

#641 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:44 PM:

Based on what she's posted on her webpage, it looks like the total amount that Lanaia sent to Christopher Hill was $1,600.

===============

Roval Publishing is a self-publishing company that specializes in digital and there are no fees. You pay for the package you wish to have.

Roval Publishing has three packages:

Package 1 includes:

Basic website design
Press release
E-mail campaign
Internet linking

Total cost $995 (Usually $1,495)

Package #2

Professional Website design
Press Release
E-mail campaign
Book review

Special price $1,995 (Usually $2,995)

Package #3

Advanced website design
Press release
E-mail campaign
Retail store placement

Value priced $2,995 (SAVE more than $1,500)

#642 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:54 PM:

That's store, as in singular?

#643 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 05:54 PM:

dave (605):
re: print-your-own business cards

I use Avery-Dennison's DesignPro freeware for layout, it works well (especially once you learn to zoom in a lot to line finicky things up). It has a printer alignment tool on the print menu so you only waste a page or two of plain paper getting things to line up. Since I use a lot of the stuff for various projects for charitable organizations, I buy a big box of generic business-card-by-the-sheet stock. The higher-end clean-edge Avery stock is very nice, though albeit expensive. There are also other brands with rounded corners and suchlike.

#644 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:01 PM:

werewolves were called "lycans"

Did the movie involve a Lord Lycan who went missing in the seventies?

#645 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:22 PM:

Was Underworld 2 any better than the original, aside from having Derek Jacobi in its cast?

#646 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:34 PM:

Will someone please aim Cheryl and company here...

#647 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:34 PM:

Will someone please aim Cheryl and company here...

#648 ::: aggie ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:41 PM:

Marci Kiser @631

You know, both of them should really talk to their legal counsel (or get legal counsel) before continuing to post, or at the very least, get information about legal concepts such as defamation, libel and copyright.

#649 ::: shannon ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 06:42 PM:

#631
Lanaia: "Lanaia: I AM INNOCENT, I will have my attorney contact Jane and Jim, you know slander is a bad thing. I am even going to take a polygraph,I WI LL sue"

Lanaia in going through some places where you have been submitting your work it would appear you are doing a "Jack Benny" on your age. Quite often when starting a polygraph that is one of the lead questions, to get the proper settings for the reading. I am sorry if I am wrong, but if I am not you might want to be upfront with that, just to be on the safe side.

It is very sad you were duped and you must be feeling enormously stressed...but in all things honesty is truly the best policy, your bio might be a good place to start.

#650 ::: Holly ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 07:35 PM:

#559 - You're scaring me. I had a stomach virus. I thought maybe it was something I ate, but come to think of it...

#583 - Hah! Of course it's one of my pet peeves. But I have to laugh, and if you're going to publicly flog yourself over it before anyone else can pounce... Well, all I can say to that is, "Killjoy." Ever notice how, when someone goes to criticize someone else's spelling, grammar, or punctuation, their own goes to Hell in a handbasket?

#637 - So right you are. I rather thought it got there yesterday...but I have to admit to that all-too-human inability to look away from a train-wreck, myself.

#639 - That wasn't a derailment; that was an attempt to get the train back on the tracks. Are you trying to confuse us? Next you'll prove the whole discussion of Avery labels is completely ON topic. ;)

Ian has asked me to forward the message that, having seen both sides of this, he now agrees with you.

Let me just add that Ian is the sort to rush in and defend the downtrodden (or those he rightly or wrongly perceives as the downtrodden) and damn the torpedoes. I say again that he has a good heart, and to jump on him over his punctuation because he rushed too quickly to Lanaia's defense is uncalled for. He was hurt by it.

Bruce, I appreciate your arguments earlier (#466) and you are right (you were right in what you said to Ian in #413, for that matter - I had him reread that and pointed out that it was not meant as an insult) - but you also make MY case.

We are not all equally skilled in all subjects. For example, among accountants and physicists, I might be regarded as the village idiot. I work with engineers and I'm intelligent, but I am NOT an engineer and Math makes my brain hurt. Still, they treat me with kindness and respect and don't expect me to do advanced mathematical calculations in my head. They don't dismiss me as stupid. In return, they are rather glad that I have the ability to put their technical knowledge into words that non-technical people can readily understand.

Ian has never claimed to be a writer, unlike Lanaia. He's not an agent or a publisher, either. He knows very little about the business of writing and publishing. I am among the first to pounce all over mechanical errors when someone claims to be a writer, yet cannot be bothered to learn how to use the tools of the trade. Add in a dash of arrogance on their part, and I can be a bit mean. But in the weeks - months - that I've exchanged emails with Ian, I have not detected one bit of arrogance on his part. He has never made excuses for his lack of punctuation, nor has he come up with far-fetched reasons for it (I did know a so-called writer, many years ago, who claimed that spaces after punctuation were a waste of space, pixels, effort, and electronic energy). Ian didn't deserve some of the snide remarks he got here. And bad faith? For what, aiding someone he thought was the underdog - at their request? Jumping to conclusions? Who here hasn't? Surely I haven't fallen into a forum populated by SAINTS... :)

#651 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 07:35 PM:

To Serge @ 645, if by "better" you mean "Did it feature Kate Beckinsale with less clothing on," then yeah, totally. Absolutely.

To Ethan @ 644, I haven't a clue.

#652 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 08:16 PM:

Holly @650: Ian came in here both guns blazing, accusing folk of bigotry against disabled people. I was one of those people who tried to explain what was happening, but he continued in his behavior. If you bring guns to a shooting match, expect to be blasted back.

At one point he told us and no i was not sent this is but one of many sites I view on a regular Bases but very rarely post, but then was found to be making this statement in another forum (unless this is another Ian Williamson):

I believe you I have never come across a bigger bunch of self opinionated bigots in all my life and you can quote me
Best wishes

So tell me why I should be concerned about his feelings?

Having said that, I know full well that if he came here and said his piece calmly he would not be attacked in any way. Many a person with disagreements has posted in this pages and seldom incurred more than mild snark. His reception was fully due to his behavior.


#653 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 08:16 PM:

Holly @650: Ian came in here both guns blazing, accusing folk of bigotry against disabled people. I was one of those people who tried to explain what was happening, but he continued in his behavior. If you bring guns to a shooting match, expect to be blasted back.

At one point he told us and no i was not sent this is but one of many sites I view on a regular Bases but very rarely post, but then was found to be making this statement in another forum (unless this is another Ian Williamson):

I believe you I have never come across a bigger bunch of self opinionated bigots in all my life and you can quote me
Best wishes

So tell me why I should be concerned about his feelings?

Having said that, I know full well that if he came here and said his piece calmly he would not be attacked in any way. Many a person with disagreements has posted in this pages and seldom incurred more than mild snark. His reception was fully due to his behavior.


#654 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 08:17 PM:

Well, crud, how did that happen? It said the first post had failed!

#655 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 08:34 PM:

Re:business cards, I found the Avery perforated sheets to leave a rough edge on the cards.

But I've continued to use their templates on my word processor to create my own cards. After I've got something that looks good, I convert it to PDF and bring it to my local copy shop to print on cardstock and cut.
It's worked quite well for me.

Otherwise, I have no clue about their prices, but I've been hearing radio ads recently for a promo @ Staples: order 100 business cards and get another 100 free. May be worth a look.

#656 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 08:43 PM:

And bad faith? For what, aiding someone he thought was the underdog - at their request? Jumping to conclusions?

Since I'm who you're quoting, let me answer.

Neither. For lying, and for lying to lend support to his accusations of bigotry against people who didn't deserve it.

#657 ::: Duncan J Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 08:57 PM:

Leslie in CA @ 612


The Soul-Powered version requires no adaptors --it is entirely self-contained. Because of this feature, the Soul-Powered model is quite sought after by the lonely and faint-at-heart.

As for the Signatory to the Scroll, I am afraid that the signee must use their own blood, and furthermore, must be contained of a soul at the time of the signing. That, or have proper collateral, say a virgin just come to womanhood.


Sincerely,


Mephistopheles
Regional Sales Manager
Underworld Typewriter Company, LLLP

#658 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 08:59 PM:

I've been wondering: Did Hill generally seek out his victims? Or did he tend to advertise his "services" and wait for his victims to contact him? Or both?

#659 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:18 PM:

A truly stupendous one-word post by Ms Pillsbury:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lanaia/message/336?l=1

Die of envy, all you writer-types!

#660 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:41 PM:

emmigeek 560: Unfortunately reading that is hurting my eyes. I dislike her writing style. Maybe it is just me.

It is you. You're a human being, with eyes, a brain, and sufficient competence in the English language to recognize when it's being sodomized with a life-sized velociraptor dildo.

If not for those traits, it wouldn't bother you nearly so much.

Tim 577: Also, if you read that new prologue, all she's done is rewrite (badly) Gemmell's work.

That's the part that made my eyes bug out like a Looney Toons™ character. Does she really think it's not plagiarizing if she changes the phrasing to something incompetent and keeps everything else the same? Sadly, yes.

shadowsong 583: Whoops: effect / affect. I hope that's not someone's pet peeve.

Your effect on my affect effects change in the effectiveness of my affectations.

Cheryl 591: I too have a lawyer and plan to sue. I will also take a polograph test. I have posted an apology on my website and a brief explaination of what happened. Slander is a no-no.

I'm really speculating on what a "polograph" test might be. Even a polygraph test is not admissible in court, in part because pathological liars can beat them trivially, as can any well-trained Witch—but you're not one of those, so that's not relevant.

Perhaps your putative lawyer has not informed you that truth is an absolute defense against libel (and slander, as it happens) in this country.

Suzanne 599-600: There we go. Or the scent profile of a popular cologne or something.

Jules 633: Your choice of Cartesian axes disappoints me.

#661 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:43 PM:

Has it occurred to anyone else that Lanaia's disabilities keep getting worse the longer this goes on? First it was "a stroke", then it was "multiple strokes", then it was "in a wheelchair", and now it's "lost her parents, her siblings, six children and almost her own life". It's as though she keeps coming up with more and more drastic stuff in the hopes that somehow she'll hit on the right combination to make the Disability Card actually work.

Minor note: a few people have referred to her as "Lee" upthread. While this isn't inaccurate, I would be rather grateful if folks wouldn't do that. It makes me twitch. :-)

#662 ::: Jackie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:48 PM:

There's a brand of business cards called Royal Brites. They're dirt cheap at Sam's Club ($6.00 for a thousand cards) and much nicer than the Avery.

I think Lanaia is only enjoying ill health when it suits her.

#663 ::: williebee ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:52 PM:

Since we're getting close?

What happens when the thread count hits 666?

#664 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 09:52 PM:

#660 ::: Xopher :::
It is you. You're a human being, with eyes, a brain, and sufficient competence in the English language to recognize when it's being sodomized with a life-sized velociraptor dildo.

If not for those traits, it wouldn't bother you nearly so much.

ouch.

so true though.

damn my humanity, alas twer it not for that I could but understand what she is trying to write about!

ok that was bad, but you get the picture. >.

#665 ::: aggie ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:02 PM:

Holly @ 650 - I think if Ian had taken time to read through the posts, instead of jumping in and posting in the heat of the moment, it would have served him well. And his posts were snide and denigrating, making assumptions about the posters here.

I'm glad he has taken time to reflect and inform himself. I do appreciate that he's taking he's apologizing, although it would be nice if he actually would post his apology personally.

#666 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:06 PM:

me

mwahahaha

#667 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:18 PM:

FranW @ 659: "DIDDO"?

"Ditto"? "Diddle"? "Kiddo"? "Did do"? Is this another one of those "CAD" things? Is Archamedes' elixer made from plutonium? And what about Naomi?

#668 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:22 PM:

Isn't Didio one of the editors for DC comics?

#669 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:39 PM:

#660 Xopher, #633 Jules: revised polograph?

#670 ::: Leslie in CA ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:44 PM:

Mephistopheles @ 657:

It seems that the soulless, then, cannot use the (non-adaptor-equipped) Soul-Powered model, and the bloodless and non-virginal(ly accessorized) cannot purchase your products at all.

I should think that would put rather a damper on your sales figures.

#671 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:48 PM:

I like the Avery cards, if you work them before you actually tear them they give a better/smoother edge. I like them because they give a nice result with colored borders, etc. built in.

I am also able to create my own cards and cut them on whatever I need to to make it happen, Which is going to be soon, because my job has turned to shit and I'm job hunting. (i lurves my bitty notebook paper cutter with it's rulers and etc.and it cuts cleanly).

#672 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 10:58 PM:

Suzanne @ 669
that reminds me of goatse and the whole Mediacrat drama a few years ago.

#673 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 11:05 PM:

even though i still have the quivering horror of cleaninig out a drawer, going "What's that?" at a very small orange holder with an extremely sharp razor cutter inset into it....

#674 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 11:05 PM:

Bruce Cohen, #547, known miscarriages are a small portion of all miscarriages. Most women miscarry without knowing it very early because the embryo is not viable.. The last ratio I saw was four unknown miscarriages to one baby.

dave, #605, you don't have to run a sheet of cardstock to test, you can print it on paper and hold it over the cardstock to see how well it fits.

Xopher, Welcome back!

#675 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2007, 11:31 PM:

Holly@650

"I say again that he has a good heart, and to jump on him over his punctuation because he rushed too quickly to Lanaia's defense is uncalled for. He was hurt by it."

Um. I really, really don't think anyone jumped on his punctuation because he was defending Lanaia. They jumped on his (lack of) punctuation because what he wrote was almost impossible to read. I actually didn't even figure out he was defending Lanaia until people with more patience than I have for trying to decipher that block of text started responding to him.

Also, you really don't need to aspire to be a writer to have or need basic writing skills. If you're participating in a written forum, it's a good idea to be able to make yourself reasonably clear.

#676 ::: Alma Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 01:27 AM:

FranW #659

I usually sit at the computer with coffee at hand. All I can say is, you are SO lucky it was a tad too late for coffee right now or I think you might have owed me a new keyboard...

#677 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 01:28 AM:

Marilee @ 674

I'd heard that stated without a number attached; a factor of 4 is a little boggling, but believable. My comment was about known miscarriages; I've heard about enough of them over the years to be fairly sure that there are more than most of us realize, because they usually don't get talked about. That's a shame in a way, because they're often at least mildly traumatic, emotionally, and I think can cause some long-term emotional damage; the women who miscarry feel alone in their situation.

#678 ::: dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 01:59 AM:

Bruce, the figure I used when I was teaching EMT classes: "Twenty percent of all pregnancies result in miscarriages". Jim will have newer numbers, but Marilee's is in the same ballpark. Many are missed because they occur near the six week mark and are discounted as an abnormal cycle...

In any case, it's a huge number; and yes, very traumatic.

#679 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 02:04 AM:

Xopher @ 660:

as can any well-trained Witch

I've never herd that before; what's the logic behind it? I admit I know next to nothing about Wicca; is it a matter of being more in-tune with your biorhythms or something?

#680 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 02:05 AM:

Yarg. Heard. It's past my bed-time.

#681 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 02:47 AM:

Well, this is a thread I'm rather glad to have missed. To quote Bugs Bunny "What an ultra maroon".

The mind boggles over the entire fiasco. With that being said...

Welcome back Xopher! I've been slacking here, but I like you and would have been missing you if I hadn't been gone at the same time. I hope that makes sense to someone other than me.

#682 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 03:10 AM:

Those Crane cards seem awfully high to me at $84 for 100. If you go up a level or so at their site, you can get to $167 for 500, which is a little better, but I'd be willing to bet that nearly anyone who wants thermographed cards can pick up their local Yellow Pages and look under "Printers" and get a better deal.

#683 ::: glinda, who is not necessarily good ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 03:42 AM:

Sarah @ 679: My understanding is that any discipline that allows you to gain control of functions that some consider involuntary can bollix up a polygraph reading... biofeedback done to the point of controlling heart rate and such, meditation even more so. I'd like to hear Xopher's answer, though.

#684 ::: Bob W. ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 04:22 AM:

Diddo, Queen of Cart hags.

(Adding to an already too long and scornful thread.)

#685 ::: Sally Quilford ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 05:50 AM:

Someone on the Long Story Short guestbook (as opposed to the Lanaia Lee guestbook) is now asking if all authors on LSS are plagiarists. As someone who's had a story published on the site in the past, I have emailed the owners asking that if they're going to insist on keeping David Gemmell's work up there, I want mine removed from their archives.

I'm not happy with this association at all but feared all along it would happen.

#686 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 06:13 AM:

670: I also plan to steal (see 230) the Underworld typewriter idea. It makes sense that writers would leave some essence of themselves in their typewriters after much use, much as Flann O'Brien's postman in "The Third Policeman" gradually merged with his bicycle.

#687 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 06:26 AM:

Is the Underwolrd typewriter a qwerty, an azerty or an alhazred?

("Curses! They keys got jammed into the human-parchment inking ribbon again!")

#688 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 07:06 AM:

#682: Crane isn't a particularly good bargain financially. They're just really nice cards. I picked them as an example because the price for a super-premium product was in the same ballpark as the price these people are offering for who knows what.

#689 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 07:18 AM:

Serge, the letters on the keyboard are of no human alphabet. And it doesn't have an inking ribbon. I see where your confusion comes from: the Underworld types onto parchment that often looks... unnervingly familiar, but it doesn't use ink at all - it just brands the letters straight onto the page, its keys glowing a dull red and giving off little spirals of smoke.

When you reach the end of a line, in order to remind you to hit carriage return, a great bronze bell tolls, once. And somewhere, a fallen angel gets his wings.

#690 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 07:27 AM:

ajay @ 689... a great bronze bell tolls, once. And somewhere, a fallen angel gets his wings.

Coming soon, Frank Capra's "It's a Dreadful Life"...

#691 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 08:29 AM:

I want an alhazred keyboard! Particularly because I like a keyboard that's not afraid to repeat letters, but mostly because of the sheer unspeakable horror of it.

#692 ::: Simon Bradshaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:18 AM:

Well, the sorry story continues. I'm not addressing this to Lanaia, because it's become painfully clear that she either doesn't want to listen to advice, or is too arrogant or stupid to follow it. (Threatening to sue people who have pointed out that you have committed a legal wrong is rarely a good sign, for starters.) So this is in the context of discussing copyright in general.

At this point I should note that my general legal training is in English law and my intellectual property knowledge mainly relates to English, UK and European jurisdictions. But many of the principles of US copyright law are the same (particularly since the USA joined the Berne Convention in 1989) and what I'm about to discuss applies fairly universally. For that matter, the English courts would probably agree to hear a suit in this matter, as Gemmell was an English author and his copyright is in part held by an English publisher. That the infringement took place in the USA is significant but not a barrier to pursuing a case.

By hosting a copy of David Gemmell's work on her website, Lanaia is infringing the copyright held by his estate and his publishers. Having been given notice of this infringement, she has continued to display it; this will not indicate goodwill in the eyes of the Court.

Had she genuinely had no idea that it was a pirated work, and taken it down immediately, she would probably have had a defence against a claim of infringement. (It's rather like the inadvertent trespasser who immediately leaves your land when asked). But she has admitted - and indeed has posted this admission on her page, as well as here - that she had notice of her ghost-writer's dishonesty, as well as ample opportunity to find out if the work he was producing was pirated. (She didn't think to look? Sorry, welcome to the legal concept of 'constructive notice' - you could easily have found out, so the court assumes you did and takes it from there.)

Lanaia has now posted an amended prologue that appears to be a close paraphrase of Gemmell's work instead of a simple copy with the names (mostly) changed. She evidently believes that this is not an infringement. Sorry, it is. There is ample case law on both sides of the Atlantic that a summary or paraphrase infringes copyright in the original, particularly if it is presented as being an original work in its own right. It also infringes on Gemmell's moral rights in his work - it is a mutilation of his creation and thus counts as 'derogatory treatment'. The US traditionally paid rather less attention to moral rights than English or (especially) European jurisdictions, but following accession to the Berne convention they now have more impact.

In short, Lanaia is just going to have to take down and throw away anything copied from or based on Gemmell's works, and start over with something original. I concede that this is probably a very scary concept for her, but there you go.

#693 ::: Duncan J Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:30 AM:

Leslie in CA @ 670:

It seems that the soulless, then, cannot use the (non-adaptor-equipped) Soul-Powered model, and the bloodless and non-virginal(ly accessorized) cannot purchase your products at all.

I should think that would put rather a damper on your sales figures.

Not at all. Those without souls of their own can still employ our Manual models, although typing can becaome a trifle labourious. The bloodless we may have already acquired, and those who cast about for sacrifical virgins are serviced by our sister company, Procurors 'R' Us, and therefore contribute to the bottom-line regardless.

ethan @ 691:

I want an alhazred keyboard! Particularly because I like a keyboard that's not afraid to repeat letters, but mostly because of the sheer unspeakable horror of it.

Of course. Whatever your desire, the keyboard will respond automagically. Just prick your finger and sign here ...

Sincerely,


Mephistopheles
Regional Sales Manager
Underworld Typewriter Company, LLLP


#694 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:34 AM:

On business cards:
For non-thermographic printing (not the raised letter/ink stuff) I use these guys. For about $45.00 (and another $3-$4 shipping) I can get 1,000 cards full color (cut to bleed) front and back.
I used to work for the Evil Purple People Printing Conglomerate and absolutely flipped out when I started investigating actual wholesale printing prices. It'll make you mad.

#695 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:40 AM:

Very cheap business cards can be had for about 9$ for 250, or 13$/500 if you are willing to have the design be strictly limited by a template and ink colors.

Staples, Officemax, etc., have outsource vendors for that stuff - usually there is a 3-ring binder on a stand in the copy center for that. The template system only allows you to specify text on each given line, but you don't have to use all the lines. There's room for creativity via omission here - a typical card has your business name in bold in the center, some italic type below, and contact info in two or three corners in small type. Nothing says you have to put anything* in the center...

Limitations aside, they really do use real printers, so the cardstock is the right weight, and you can get flat or raised ink.

*usually you are restricted in the fonts you can use. But for 24.99, you can use a selection of fonts of no human alphabet. The clipart provided is pretty squamous and rugose, though.

#696 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:46 AM:

Serge @ 690

Frank Capra's "It's a Dreadful Life".

Excellent! I've always intensely disliked the original movie; it's clearly a work of the His Infernal Majesty. I swear the script must have been written by Ayn Rand in an intensely sardonic mood: the basic moral lesson seems to be that "them as got shall give everything they have to them as don't want to bother": pillars of the community have a moral obligation to hold everybody else up at the expense of their own lives.

I'm not an Objectivist, as I'm sure you can all tell, but this movie just gets under my skin and itches. And I really like Capra as a film maker, too. Philosophic allergies, I guess.

#697 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:03 AM:

696: No relation to the Oscar-winning short "Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life". (Well worth a look, incidentally. Richard E Grant as Kafka.)

"It's A Dreadful Life".

It's Christmas Eve in the town of Bedford Falls. George Bailey, who runs the local savings and loan is in despair - his business is about to collapse and he is contemplating suicide. As he stands on the bridge, a mysterious figure appears beside him. Clarence Oddbody, a demon (second class) offers to save his business - and keep the town afloat - in exchange for George's soul. When George refuses, Clarence shows him a vision of the future without the savings and loan - the town crumbling and hopeless, most of it owned by the grasping businessman Potter. George gives in and his soul is dragged down to Hell by a chorus of demons, led by Clarence (now granted his pirchfork as a demon, first class).

#698 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:04 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 696... Agreed on all counts. That being said, I like Capra's original. Maybe it's because I'd like to think that we matter to others, and that somehow our passing thru Life will have made a difference to a few people at least. That's probably why my favorite episode of Eureka is the one where Jack sees the whole town slowly disappearing around him, but, at the end, he finds everybody coming to him to remind him that he matters.

#699 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:04 AM:

Duncan J Macdonald @ 693

Yes, that gives a whole new meaning to "bottom-line".

#700 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:19 AM:

Serge @ 698

Of course we matter to others, you don't need to look beyond Making Light to see the proof. I just prefer to see that as a relationship among equals, not, as I think "It's a Wonderful Life" implies in subtext, a crypto-feudalism. There sure seem to be a lot of people pushing feudalism these days; writing about it has created a whole (thriving) subgenre of SF: Jerry Pournelle, Steve Stirling, David Drake, etc. Is it just nostalgia for a more ordered life*, or is it a back-channel to the appeal of fascism and similar feel-good political systems?

* "Here are your orders, vassal."

#701 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:02 AM:

When asked on her guestbook why the excerpt is still up on her site, she replies with “I really don’t know that one, Gail, something to do with my computer modem”.

#702 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:04 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 700... I didn't see Capra's movie as an endorsement of feudalism. Maybe it's because I grew up as a Catholic, and that wiring is still in me. As for that story being accused to shmaltziness... This is about someone who, on Christmas Eve, is not having happy thoughts. He's contemplating suicide as he faces financial ruin and prison. Not exactly jolly ho-ho-ho.

#703 ::: tasha ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:05 AM:

#701
That's fascinating in light of this, swiped from the comments over at Dear Author:

The latest from Long Story Short’s owners, who have missed the point completely.
Denise Cassino Tuesday, 10/16/07, 7:16 AM
Lanaia Lee, along with her publisher and lawyer, are addressing the situation that revolves around her book, Of Atlantis, and the David Gemmell book. She has posted a statement on her page in the Writers’ Lodge. Until she is proven guilty of something, her page will remain. This is America. Many of you are on a campaign to destroy her. Be aware that you will be hearing from her lawyers. If it is proven that she did indeed purposely plagarize the work, her page will be removed. Until then, she is a member of our Writers’ Lodge.
Web Site: Long Story Short
Email: d.cassino@att.net

#704 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:10 AM:

sufficient competence in the English language to recognize when it's being sodomized with a life-sized velociraptor dildo.


LOL and can't...stop...giggling! Yeah, you were missed... "Your" version of "IAWL" would involve forums with much less funny.

Your effect on my affect effects change in the effectiveness of my affectations.

This could go in Teresa's cheat sheet at the bottom! A less clear but perhaps funnier version might run:

"Your effect on my affect, effects affects to my effective affectations."

And playing with that just ffect my internal auto-spelling! ;-~

#705 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:27 AM:

Until she is proven guilty of something, her page will remain.

Wonder what will happen in the event the site gets a DMCA takedown notice?

#706 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:28 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ #696: oddly enough, though I don't disagree with your reading of the film's message, I like the movie. I guess the difference is that I regard it as descriptive rather than prescriptive (this is what a responsible person's life looks like). In my experience, families/communities typically have a small number of people who end up assuming a disproportionate share of the responsibility and trouble, for minimal reward. (This is particularly true in the realm of caring for elderly and/or disabled relatives, particularly if the caretaker is female.) Either you find satisfaction in the love of those around you, or you feel like killing yourself. Often both.

#707 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:35 AM:

The "newly revised" text appears to have, on average, about one word and one punctuation symbol changed per paragraph. (And a different character is now sporting the wrong name in one place.)

She's Still Not Getting It.

If I were to buy a distinctive item from a guy, having been told in advance that he was dishonest, and started showing pictures of it around, and was informed that in fact the property was stolen, and was shown proof that it was stolen... the wrong thing to say would be "I paid for it! I didn't steal it, the other guy stole it!" And the wrong thing to do would be to slap a coat of paint on it and keep showing off the stolen property.

#708 ::: Sylvie G ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:44 AM:

Has there been any word from Mr. Gemmell's estate yet?

#709 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:58 AM:

@693: "automagically"--what a wonderful word!

#710 ::: inge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:00 PM:

Will Entrekin @ 639: The thing that always most got me is that White Wolf, in their points list, directly asserted that their material was essentially a new perspective on Romeo and Juliet,

That is strange, as White Wolf's material is a role playing game setting, not a story. There were some tie-in novels, but none too close to "Underworld", plot-wise -- probably because it would have been too obvious. Every 16yo recently-converted gamer had already used the setting for a Romeo-and-Julia plot.

If settings were fair game, I could publish my fanfic.

#711 ::: Laura ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:03 PM:

Out of morbid curiosity, I've been following this since I first read about it over at Victoria Strauss's blog, both here and at Dear Author. In the comments at Dear Author, the owners of Long Story Short have now weighed in as well. LSS is not only refusing to take down the plagiarized material, but they're also accusing users who are requesting that their material be removed of trying to destroy the owners.

Be careful. Apparently the stupid is contagious.

#712 ::: Laura ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:06 PM:

Gah. Nevermind. Someone beat me to it.

#713 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:17 PM:

#700, Bruce Cohen (and Serge @ 698)

There sure seem to be a lot of people pushing feudalism these days; writing about it has created a whole (thriving) subgenre of SF: Jerry Pournelle, Steve Stirling, David Drake, etc.

Bruce, fandom is feudalism.

Lords over property with high social status? Check: intellectual property, big name writers
Peons living on property? Check: fans
Vassals with delegated authority over property? Check: fanzines, apas, fanfiction, shared universes, collaborations, etc.
Vassals obligated to go to flamewar on behalf of their lord? Check: big name fans, prowriter flamers, ABurt, etc.

It hadn't occurred to me that the Cory Doctrow types could upset the applecart of mutual obligation and status, but if you think your power as a profic writer comes from the Divine CopyRight of K/i/n/g/s/ Authors, I guess you might be pretty worried by this copyleft stuff.

#714 ::: Leslie in CA ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:20 PM:

Mephistopheles @ 693:

I suspect there are far more soulless ones up here than you have imagined, especially among those who might sneer at using a Manual. But with a sleek little adapter, they could run the deluxe Soul-Powered model off an assortment of their lackeys, who will doubtless already be familiar with similar forms of service.

I just think you're missing a real marketing opportunity, here. With your sister company helping out, you could have the soulless and bloodless flocking to your gates.

#715 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:36 PM:

The prologue is now gone

Took long enough.

#716 ::: spikewriter ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:37 PM:

The Gemmell extract has been removed form A Long Story Short. I just checked myself and it is gone, leaving behind only LL's protestations of innocence.

#717 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:40 PM:

This has been added to Ms. Lee's guestbook by the LSS editor:

Linaia does not control what comes and goes from her page. I do. I did not realize we had a link to Of Atlantis. I have removed it. I have about 2500 pages on this website and sometimes I can't remember every entry and every link. IT IS GONE! Denise Cassino Senior Editor

And the guestbook seems to have been purged of all threats.

#718 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:41 PM:

A hate to burst one's bubble, but...
The link was removed not the material.

#719 ::: Simon Bradshaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:42 PM:

It looks as if the paraphrased substitute has gone too; maybe somebody read my comment @692 after all. (More likely, a lawyer explained the issue in person, with dire warnings of the consequences.)

#720 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:43 PM:

Shawn Struck #718: I'm getting a Page Not Found.

#721 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 12:49 PM:

I eff-fived and that cleared it up.

#722 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 01:13 PM:

No, no no! You guys simply do not get the Ayn Rand gestalt. Herewith the Objectivist version, Midas Shrugged:

Georgia Bailey is stuck with running the family S&L because her older brother, Jim, has gone off to work for Potter, who is grooming him for bigger things.

In the next town (which happens to be NYC) there is a new up-and-coming bank run by Mark Grant, who has daring, innovative ideas that will transform banking and make everyone, well, richer anyway. Needless to say the banking establishment hates him, and needless to say, Potter is a card-carrying (and in fact rather prominent, even though he's a small-town operator) member of the Bank Establishment. (They meet at J. P. Morgan on Tuesday to plot and scheme.) Potter's group is hatching a scheme to convince homeowners to refinance at ajustable rates, which they will then jack through the roof and forclose on everything.

Well. On Christmas Eve Gloria's trusted minion, Allan Smithee, gets waylaid in a dark alley by one of Potter's henchmen, and is relieved of the securities that he is couriering to Grant's bank. They're already hard hit by Potter's tactics, and this loss is clearly the straw that will break the camel's bank. So she goes to Potter, who of course laughs at her, and when she can't get Grant on the phone, she rushes to the bridge in a fit of existential despair.

And who should arrive, but Mark Grant himself. When she relates her crisis, he takes her on a drive about town, pointing out all the buildings and factories and houses that were founded on Bailey S&L money. He then launches into a ten page speech about how everything would be fixed if we went back to a gold standard.

Meanwhile Potter alerts the feds, who come and chain the doors on the S&L (and for good measure, on Grant's bank too). The day after Christmas, retailers across the region fail to open because they have no cash available (no FDIC in this world). The cumulative effect is disasterous, which is just as Dr. Simmons, the philosopher for for some inexplicable reason is in on the banking cabal, had planned. Jim Bailey looks upon what he has helped make, and he goes and throws himslef off the bridge. Gloria and Mark light out for Alaska, where there are plenty of opportunities for a young banking couple.

FIN

#723 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 01:17 PM:

Inge @ 710: White Wolf's material included a Nancy A. Collins short story, which was set in their world.

But your noting that "probably because it was too obvious--every 16yo recently-converted gamer had already used the setting for a Romeo-and-Julia plot," I think, supports my point, which was pretty much that if you're going to tell that story with werewolves and vampires, the story necessitates certain plot elements, which of course would coincide. Especially when the plaintiffs named things like "In the World of Darkness, vampires can vanish out of sight. In Underworld, vampires can vanish out of sight. Therefore Underworld ripped off WW and Nancy A. Collins. (I paraphrased that, but only slightly)"

#724 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 01:20 PM:

My earlier post to the "Long Story Short" guestbook has indeed been deleted.

Denise Cassino posted there (Tuesday, 10/16/07, 7:16 AM):

Lanaia Lee, along with her publisher and lawyer, are addressing the situation that revolves around her book, Of Atlantis, and the David Gemmell book. She has posted a statement on her page in the Writers' Lodge. Until she is proven guilty of something, her page will remain. This is America. Many of you are on a campaign to destroy her. Be aware that you will be hearing from her lawyers. If it is proven that she did indeed purposely plagarize the work, her page will be removed. Until then, she is a member of our Writers' Lodge.
I've replied (Tuesday, 10/16/07, 10:05 AM):
"Deliberately" or otherwise, the prologue to "Of Atlantis" reproduces the first chapter of David Gemmell's 1993 novel "Dark Prince", changing only a few words such as character names -- and once even leaving the original name "Alexander" intact. That is copyright infringement, no matter what the infringer's "intent" may have been. You, and the purported "author", and her agent, have all been repeatedly notified of the infringement. These notifications are not an attempt to "destroy" anyone, they are an attempt to have you comply with copyright law. If this matter reaches any court, I think the outcome is a foregone conclusion. As a group, you are on the wrong end of the law to threaten lawsuits; your firm disregard for the intellectual property of another (and beloved) writer is also the one thing most likely to destroy all your reputations and any good will any of you might have had from the literary community.
I expect that too will be deleted.

#725 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 01:31 PM:

Leaving aside the rest of it, making a bereaved family deal with this kind of thing just to prove nobody's the boss of her speaks very, very badly of Ms. Lee.

I don't wish ill on her - she's clearly got an elegant sufficiency of problems no matter how much of what she says about herself is true - but if she does force the loved ones of the author whose work she's representing as her own to lawyer up before she does the right thing, I think that she'll have richly earned everything that flows from that.

#726 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 02:07 PM:

So, umm, who owns The Writer's Lodge? Their reaction is rather interesting.

And did, or did not, Ms. Lee ask for the material to be removed? Because *she* has admitted it is swiped from Gemmell by Hill. If she's saying it's plagariazed by her ghostwriter, and the evidence is OBVIOUS that it was ... why is The Writer's Lodge refusing to take it down? Particularly if she wants it down?

Curioser and curioser.

#727 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 02:09 PM:

#325 JKRichard
She used a ghost writer for self-published works?
...and charges a fee to clients?
Oh wait, she charges a fee to clients so that she can pay her ghost writer in order to get self-published!?
It all makes sense now.
Or not.

-----
Sure it does. Writers depend on the willing suspension of belief. Scammers depend on the willing suspension of disbelief.

#728 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 02:20 PM:

Sarah 679: Partly because a well-trained Witch has control of more "involuntary" stuff when she wants to. I've never beaten a polygraph, but...let's just say I know someone who has, and I have the ability to be calm in the presence of a hysterically-screaming two-year-old. For a while.

The other thing is that polygraph examiners aren't just deciding you're lying if the needle moves. Your visible and audible responses are also part of the data they process to decide. For (a simplified) example, if you say "I didn't do it" they're more likely to believe you than if you say "I'm innocent" (because you're innocent until proven guilty, so you can say that without lying exactly, right?).

glinda 683: Pretty much the same. Meditation is an essential skill for the well-trained Witch. If you can't be sitting on the subway, and inside your head be sitting next to a forest pool listening to birds, you're not as well-trained as my students!

David 704: I giggle back in turn. Thank you.

Shawn 721: I eff-fived and that cleared it up.

Well, that's as may be, but you better not eff-five where the cops can see you!

#729 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 03:39 PM:

midori @ 713

Interesting viewpoint. You've described the upward flow of obligation, vassal to lord. I was talking mostly about the downward flow of responsibility, lord to vassal. How does that work in fandom?

#730 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 03:49 PM:

So it just took 'em 'til noon Tuesday, when the story broke the previous Thursday morning, for them to do the minimum legally-and-ethically-necessary thing?

#731 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 04:30 PM:

729, Bruce Cohen
midori @ 713

Interesting viewpoint. You've described the upward flow of obligation, vassal to lord. I was talking mostly about the downward flow of responsibility, lord to vassal. How does that work in fandom?

That's more difficult. Some would say the downward flow of responsibility is the providing of stories, or worlds to play in, or approbation of peers via blurbing, or approbation of fans (particularly BNF's) by doing signings, engaging in pleasant conversation at conventions, doing panels, attending nomination parties, and blogging.

I was going to add to my earlier post that the right to rule actually comes not from the divine CopyRight, but rather from the Mandate of H/e/a/v/e/n/ Fandom: the approval of the audience for the storytelling*.

*Subtly different from the approval of the audience for the story or the storyteller, though often inclusive of both.

#732 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 04:40 PM:

Moira (#340): If I needed to talk to my att'y I'd get to see him today. Push come to shove he'd come by my house.

Now, he's not an IP guy. So the first thing he'd do is ask a bunch of questions, and tell me what he thought of what he knows (which has some IP in it, but mostly he's for contracts). Then I'd look into the IP lawyer I know, and see what Lexis/Nexis has to say about him.

So I'd probably have a legal game plan inside of 48 hours.

But my situation is probably not the norm.

#733 ::: Christine ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 05:29 PM:

Sigh.

This really is getting nowhere, is it.

Lanaia, sweetie. Stop threatening lawsuits. You hired a scammer, didn't research him. Paid him gobs of money for work that was copied. You then claimed it as your own.

A simple "I had no idea, I'm very sorry, I'll fix it right away" would have stopped all this nonsense in its tracks.

Cheryl Pillsbury is NOT your friend, and she's making this far worse for you than it had to be. Stop, STOP listening to her this minute. Fix your book, post a genuine apology that doesn't point fingers, own your mistake and move on.

OWN YOUR MISTAKE. We all make them because we're human. I have great respect for those that own their mistakes. You made several - hiring Chris Hill, hiring Cheryl Pillsbury, and then screaming innocence when you are not innocent. All you had to say was I'm sorry.

#734 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 06:21 PM:

moo.com prints up cute little minicards at about $25 for 100 with S&H. You can put a photo on the back, your buddy image on the front, the name and/or cover of your book, etc. You can have 100 different back images, one on each card. People get a big kick out of them--I had four different ones printed up, and when I give them a choice, have had more than one person take one of each. :-)

#735 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 08:45 PM:

Owlmirror @ 518:

I had to pause in my perusal of this thread (which has managed to grow by at least 400 comments since I last checked it--jinkies!) to say that the lolspeak opening your comment caused me to laugh so uproariously, one of my cats nearly knocked The Chicago Manual of Style right off my desk.

Thank you!

#737 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 08:57 PM:

Shawn@630: well, at least something productive came out of this thread for me. What a strange website you found.

#738 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:04 PM:

Actually, the version linked from 736 seemed to be a revision; the true original seems to be here.

#739 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:08 PM:

#697 (Ajay):

"It's A Dreadful Life".

It's Christmas Eve in the town of Bedford Falls. George Bailey, who runs the local savings and loan is in despair - his business is about to collapse and he is contemplating suicide. As he stands on the bridge, a mysterious figure appears beside him. Clarence Oddbody, a demon (second class) offers to save his business - and keep the town afloat - in exchange for George's soul. When George refuses, Clarence shows him a vision of the future without the savings and loan - the town crumbling and hopeless, most of it owned by the grasping businessman Potter. George gives in and his soul is dragged down to Hell by a chorus of demons, led by Clarence (now granted his pirchfork as a demon, first class).

Or ... George gives in, and in the years that follow his S&L makes many bad loans, leading to Bedford Falls crumbling into bleakness and hopelessness. At length George is ruined. He sells what is left of the S&L to Potter for pennies on the dollar. Potter completes the destruction of the town.

When George dies in poverty and despair he is pulled down into the pit. As he falls, he's granted a vision of a happy, prosperous Bedford Falls, as it would have been if only he had jumped off the bridge that night so long ago....

#740 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:15 PM:

Greg London @ 737

Yes, that's downright surreal. Does anyone actually use it for anything, I wonder?

#741 ::: Mephistopheles ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:24 PM:

Leslie in CA @ 714:

I suspect there are far more soulless ones up here than you have imagined, especially among those who might sneer at using a Manual.

Thank You for your observation. I shall of course notify the Imps in Accounting that they need to re-perform their survey. Whilst it is not normally in their purview to tread beyond the pale of rote counting, the fact that you hail from California means that the normal methods will not suffice. There are far more soulless in California (especially South of S*nt* Barbara) than our normal statistical methods understand.

But with a sleek little adapter, they could run the deluxe Soul-Powered model off an assortment of their lackeys, who will doubtless already be familiar with similar forms of service.

This is very true. In keeping with more modern technology, however, we have co-ordinated with certain large electronics vendors, and inserted the soul-draining firmware into standard ear-bud ear phones. These souls are then wirelessly transmitted to any properly activated Soul-Powered Underworld typewriter. So, as you can see, we have no need of any external adaptor on the Underworld itself, we merely need to assist the careers of young, gullible wanna-be rock-stars and glamour girls. Honestly, it's as easy as drowning kittens some days.

I just think you're missing a real marketing opportunity, here. With your sister company helping out, you could have the soulless and bloodless flocking to your gates.

I am afraid that you misapprehend, no doubt due to my inability to properly express myself. Without a physical presence and the concomitant ability to touch my clients, I find that words fail me sometimes. Pity. I wil endeavour to explain again -- some time ago, we sponsored one of our junior demons by means of an infusion of venture capital. He has been quite successful in the intervening 25 years, and we have the soulless and bloodless firmly in our grasp. And to think, without the ubitquious word processor, we could never claim so many new clients.

But, back to the task at hand. May I fill in the particulars on your *cough* Contract? Hmmm?
Sincerely,

Mephistopheles
Regional Sales Manager
Underworld Typewriter Company, LLLP

#742 ::: Duncan J Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:32 PM:

Mary Frances @ 709:

@693: "automagically"--what a wonderful word!


Alas, I can not claim credit. I first saw the term some years ago, on Usenet, I believe. It does fit marvelously well in certain situations, so I blatantly stole it.

Sorry, but that's what I do.

Do you need a typewriter?

Sincerely,

Mephistopheles
Regional Sales Manager
Underworld Typewriter Company, LLLP

#743 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:41 PM:

Mephistopheles @742: Then why apologize? If it's what you do . . . oh. Of course. I had forgotten the context. No doubt you felt it "politic."

Besides, I have decided that "automagic writing" is what happens at seances, so I may steal it too.

#744 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:52 PM:

Julie L. #738: Great sleuthing there.

#745 ::: Lili ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 09:57 PM:

#667 Joel
FranW @ 659: "DIDDO"?

"Ditto"? "Diddle"? "Kiddo"? "Did do"?

Diddo of Carthige. Close relative of Archamedes.

#746 ::: Lili ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:02 PM:

Dangit. Sorry. Still getting used to the way things work in these parts... Trying again - 745 should've been:

#667 Joel
FranW @ 659: "DIDDO"?
"Ditto"? "Diddle"? "Kiddo"? "Did do"?

Diddo of Carthige. Close relative of Archamedes.

#747 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:04 PM:

Lily 745: Actually, I think Ms Pillsbury was posting a self-descriptor, but accidentally put a D instead of an L for the middle letter of the word.

#748 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:15 PM:

I'm in software these days and use "automagically" all the time. "So the data comes in here and you're going to write a brilliant little algorithm that automagically transforms it into cheese crackers, which we will then sell for a fantastic profit."

#749 ::: Lili ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:24 PM:

Fran 747 - Ohhh, yes! Like a siggy line, but with a typo!

#750 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:29 PM:

Yup, Lili. And sorry for spelling your name wrong in my previous post. Typos seem to be contagious!

#751 ::: Duncan J Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:33 PM:

Come now all, DIDDO is the output of a Underworld Delux Soul-Sipper 2000 when the vict /h/h/h/h user types DITTO.

Sincerely,

Mephistopheles
Regional Sales Manager
Underworld Typewriter Company, LLLP

#752 ::: Nameless engineering imp ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 10:57 PM:

The Underworld Delux Soul-Sipper 2000 is designed to produce maximum frustration and/or humiliation by the pseudorandom substitution of characters using a proprietary algorithm.

The substitution of a D for an L (and reduction in FH-points) in this particular case was an unintended consequence, and the Engineering Group will work to prevent it from happening in future.


#753 ::: Leslie in CA ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:29 PM:

Dear Mr. Mephistopheles,

I should have guessed that your entrepreneurial drive would be equal to any challenge.

Your concern for my soul is ... warming. I find, however, that my good old Standard Mortal Model does just fine for me. It's what I'm used to, and I really wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm sure you understand.

Best,
Leslie

#754 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2007, 11:36 PM:

Midori @ 731: I was going to add to my earlier post that the right to rule actually comes not from the divine CopyRight, but rather from the Mandate of H/e/a/v/e/n/ Fandom: the approval of the audience for the storytelling*.

"Well how did you become king then?"

“The GOH of the Con, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Hugo from the podium signifying by Divine Providence that I, Author, was to carry the award. That is why I am your king!”

“Listen: Strange women appearing at conventions and distributing statuettes is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the mass market, not from some farcical award ceremony.”

“Be quiet!”

“You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some tart threw a chrome missile at you!”

“Shut up!”

“I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some bint had lobbed a rocketship at me, they'd put me away!”

#755 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 12:04 AM:

Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

#756 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 01:30 AM:

The typewriter-from-hell subthread has reminded of a book I read in, um, early 70s, and I believe it was new at the time. About a struggling writer who took a room in a boardinghouse, where the landlady (a woman of large sagging bosom) gave him a typewriter that had belonged to a deceased tenant.
The typewriter was haunted, or possessed, and constantly turned out reams of Golden-Age pulp fiction, from jungle adventure to space opera, which the struggling writer found himself experiencing as the hero.
Every time he got close to the buxom heroine, whether she was a princess of the lost race or a feisty widow on a cattle ranch, the story would break off, he'd be called for dinner or whatever.
My recollection is that at the end he discovered that the deceased owner had been deeply in love with the landlady, and that he was being pushed to consummate that doomed love.

I've posted the description on some book sites, including ABE's Booksleuth (where I hang out and can identify _other_ people's books) but the title and author remain unknown.
If this does ring a bell for anyone I'd love to know. It wasn't a great book, but it was a fun read, with lots of Golden-Age parody.
-Barbara

#757 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 01:58 AM:

Was that in one of the Rod Serling's Twilight Zone anthologies?

#758 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 02:57 AM:

From the original prologue (10/16/05):

If I totally understand time, the existence of Atlantis occurred around 4000 B.C. The city, as I remember it, was totally awesome, we had electric lights, running water, and we cool or heat our homes. ... The wave had totally engulfed, our home, Atlantis, throwing it into the deep deep ocean. I feel a feeling of loneliness, as I knew I would never see my home again. Before, I made it to the ship, that would save my life, the secrets of the universe, was contained within a small chest, I made sure, this would come with me. ... If I totally understand maps, Atlantis, sunk into the sea, beneath the waters, of what is known today, as the Bermuda Triangle.
Gag, me, with, a, spoon, totally.

#759 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 03:13 AM:

A list of other novels on the same theme, such as Peter Valentine Timlett's Seedbearers trilogy.

At least I'm fairly sure the original prologue wasn't copied word-for-word from any of them.

#760 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:38 AM:

JKRichard@694: Okay, that one is a good deal.

#761 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:38 AM:

722 and 739: Oh, definitely, yes.

#762 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 07:44 AM:

754, Paul Duncanson,

Oh good heavens, you just made my head hurt with laughter and caused a definite near miss with the milk through nose into keyboard! Good show!
Now I need to wash my hands.

#763 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 08:43 AM:

754, Paul Duncanson,

Oh, that hurts! I laughed so hard! And milk into the nose (thankfully not onto the keyboard!) Good show!

#764 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 08:48 AM:

Ai! WTH?! Muy post, it ated it!
(And regurgitated it!)

#765 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 08:52 AM:

So are Literary Snobs the French?

It's *perfect*, Paul. Heeheehee.

#766 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 09:34 AM:

Shawn Struck (623) quoting Cheryl posting in Lanaia's Yahoo group:

"I spent the entire week and nights investigating this issue; it is true Mr. Hill did purposely copy David Gemmell's book into hers. We have placed the book on hold to re-write the prologue, which she did."
Mr. Hill can't be reached (or found by the police, for that matter). How has Cheryl established that he did it on purpose?

Jane (590), thank you for your distinction between plagiarism and infringement. You're right, of course; a work can have ironclad defenses against charges of infringement, and yet be plagiarism.

Sarah (585), in cases like that, the outcome is strongly affected by how much lawyer you've got.

Fran (659), I did have a near-death experience, but envy wasn't in it. Thanks for digging that up.

#767 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 09:47 AM:

Paul @754: THANK YOU!!! You just cured a bad case of the blues... And ruined my breathing for about two minutes, but hey, laughing that hard is worth it!

#768 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 10:00 AM:

Mephistopheles @ 741

I suspect there are far more soulless ones up here than you have imagined, especially among those who might sneer at using a Manual.

They should never underestimate the power of RTFM.

and inserted the soul-draining firmware into standard ear-bud ear phones.

What, putting it in MS Windows didn't work? Or is it just that the souls so acquired went to a different department, and not to your bottom-line?

And to think, without the ubitquious word processor, we could never claim so many new clients.

Ah, so you're the vulture capitalist behind Infernal Office. Is it true that there's One Macro that controls all others?

#769 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 11:04 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 768:

Is it true that there's One Macro that controls all others?

One macro to fool them all,
One macro to grind them,
One macro to fling them all
into the dark, and bind them
in the land of Redmond, where the salesfolk lie.

Yeah, I know, it doesn't scan...

#770 ::: Mephistopheles ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 12:48 PM:

Leslie in CA @ 753:

I should have guessed that your entrepreneurial drive would be equal to any challenge.

You have no idea of how -- motivational -- our regular sales meetings can be when the speaker wields a large, flaming whip.

Your concern for my soul is ... warming. I find, however, that my good old Standard Mortal Model does just fine for me. It's what I'm used to, and I really wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm sure you understand.

Oh, yes, I understand. I have had years of practice waiting on Mortals. [Note to Self: Self, investigate undermining the repair depot and parts supply for Standard Mortal Model equipment] In case you should change you mind in future (or that deadline looms too close), I shall keep your contact information in my Rolo-hex.

Sincerely,

Mephistopheles

#771 ::: Mephistopheles ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 12:58 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) @ 768

What, putting it in MS Windows didn't work? Or is it just that the souls so acquired went to a different department, and not to your bottom-line?

We had it built into MS-DOS, and needed to switch to ear-buds when XP arrived. Even our twisted Infernal Engineering Department couldn't make that intergration nightmare work.
All our Divisions (we call them Bolgia) share the same bottom-line. It allows us to underbid our competitors without straining one business unit.

Ah, so you're the vulture capitalist behind Infernal Office.

Sir, you make me blush. I thought that the inclusion of 'Clippit' was especially vile. Thanks.

Is it true that there's One Macro that controls all others?

Why, yes. Would you like a copy? Just prick your finger and sign here ...

Sincerely,

Mephistopheles
Regional Sales Manager
Underworld Typewriter Company, LLLP

#772 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 02:20 PM:

Ok, can I please, get two hours of my life back now? Two hours I could have used to write original words, and that now will be forever lost.

Well, I could hire a ghostwriter to write those words for me, and then spend several hours to check if he ripped off Bernard Cornwell and Jack Whyte. Which would leave me with more hours of unwritten words.

Or I could risk to have stolen words, and blame it on the dog I don't have, the bad eyesight I don't have, and PMS (which I don't have right now, either, but who'll find out?) in case I get caught.

Or I can switch off the internet and write double the amount of original words the next two hours.

You know what? I think I'll pick the latter. Writing my own words is just so much fun. :)

#774 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 03:25 PM:

Woah. The site went down for a minute. Must be that firey wall!

#775 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 03:38 PM:

Or one of those Wicca spells running amok.

#776 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 04:19 PM:

Jim @ 757, I used to be fairly sure it was a stand-alone book, but my lack of success in finding it has made me wonder if it were in an anthology. It would have to have been a novella or novelette length, though, and I definitely had it out from the public library.
I'll check into the TZ anthologies. Thanks for the thought!
-Barbara

#777 ::: stuart ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:09 PM:

Coming to this party late, but I wanted to point out that nearly 65,000 words have been typed in response to this. Almost a novel.

If I copy it all and print it as my own novel, with Publish America of course, will I be caught for plagiarizing? If I get my dog to do the CTRL + C, CTRL+V?

#778 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:13 PM:

stuart 777: only if you post an excerpt online.

#779 ::: thanbo ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:13 PM:

I've got an ethics-of-professional-writing question.

X is mostly a fanfic writer, but has also been paid for nonfiction articles in small-circulation magazines.

X has been asked by the editor of an anthology to write a review of the book, which may be posted on the book's website, if it's positive. The anthology is of original fiction, by writers who are being paid some small amount for their work, but since they don't expect a wide circulation, it's being published through Lulu.com.

The sole compensation to X will be the review copy of the book.

Is this proper, to not pay someone to write a review, that may be used to publicize the book?

I argue that X should be paid, it's work product, whatever use is made of it, and especially if it becomes advertising copy.

X argues that if sie is paid by the editor, it impinges on the credibility of the review - sie would feel impelled to write a positive review. It's not like a regular book review, which is paid for by the magazine in which it's published, but a review meant to advertise the book in question.

Sie asks, "would Rob Sawyer get paid for the positive reviews he might write on the back cover of someone else's paperback?" I argue he should be, it's ad copy. Sie argues he should not be, it would then just be ad copy. Neither of us knows how that really works, not being wildly successful authors ourselves.

Sie thinks of this more as peer review; I argue that academics aren't paid for their papers, in fact, they often have to pay "page charges", so it's a different publication model, more like a vanity press, but with peer review.

Should X be paid for hir review, or not?

#780 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:29 PM:

X should receive a copy of the book. This is not payment; reviewers are not required to buy the books they review.

X should review the book with total honesty. Remember: reviewers are not advocates for the publisher, nor are they trying to help the author improve. Reviewers are the readers' advocates. They tell the readers what they need to know to make an informed buying/reading decision. As a reviewer, X is the readers' trusted friend. Sie will not betray that trust.

Perhaps the publishers will use the review; perhaps not. That is not X's problem. X should post the review so that all may see.

-----------

For myself (the only person I can speak for):

When asked to do blurbs to appear on the covers of books ("Best book I've read this year!" -- James D. Macdonald, author of Land of Mist and Snow) what I say to the editor is: "Yes, send me the book. I will read it. I will only write a blurb if I love it." The editors usually say, "Fair enough." If they don't -- no deal.)

When I'm asked to write cover blurbs (as I am by various publishers (and some authors)), my fee is $150. No by-line. I get a copy of the book (in manuscript). I read it, and write back cover copy, or flap copy. This is what I call "putting on fishnet stockings." Even if I personally don't like the book. It's advertising. I do it well (at least, the people who buy my cover copy think so).

So: with your byline, honest opinion. Let the chips fall where they may. And don't think that a copy of the book is "payment." It's the minimum working material for you to do your job.

#781 ::: Eleanor ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:40 PM:

Lanaia expresses herself in verse: Dreams Come Crashing Down

#782 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:53 PM:

Just when you thought Lanaia couldn't get any more nauseating. I keep thinking "this has to be a hoax, right? Or a parody or something?"

Sadly, no.

#783 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:53 PM:

That was actually me, as I explain here.

Thanks for the props, though.

#784 ::: Eleanor ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:54 PM:

Me @ 781: Oops, that wasn't Lanaia. I should have read it more carefully.

#785 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 05:56 PM:

So, yeah, it actually was a parody.

Sweet, do I get a "I Fooled Xopher But All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt" T-Shirt?

#786 ::: Eleanor ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 06:00 PM:

Crosspost. Sorry, Shawn. I wondered why there were so few mistakes in it!

#787 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 06:06 PM:

Says more about the depth of my cynicism than anything else, I'm afraid. Send me your mailing address and t-shirt size and I'll see about getting it made.

#788 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 06:07 PM:

TNH #766: Mr. Hill can't be reached (or found by the police, for that matter). How has Cheryl established that he did it on purpose?

What are the odds he copied several chapters of a book by accident?

#789 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 06:30 PM:

JDM #780: Do you mean that writing jacket blurbs for other people is advertising for you? I'm confuzzled. Do I need a nap, or is this actually confusing?

#790 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 06:36 PM:

thanbo @779: Maybe X should also be aware that being asked for a blurb isn't quite the same thing as reviewing a book (though it can sort of work the same way)? Even freelance book reviewers generally get paid by the magazine/publication that actually publishes their reviews, at whatever that publications rate-of-payment is. The publishers of books send out review copies to people (or magazines, or review websites) whom they hope will write reviews that will be published in the appropriate venue, but the publishers do not usually pay the reviewers directly. Publishers can then take that printed or posted review and use themselves to advertise or promote the book (with appropriate attribution).

Directly requested blurbs are of course different, as Jim has already said.

#791 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 06:40 PM:

Oops--sorry, thanbo. See you already covered that--my bad for posting in a hurry.

#792 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 06:40 PM:

ethan (789): I think he means it's advertising for the book. I also think you may need a nap. :)

#793 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 07:10 PM:

It's advertising for the book, not for me.

#794 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 07:20 PM:

Isn't advertising also advertising for the creator of the advertisement, as well as for the thing being advertised?

I'm advertising my snark, here.

#795 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 07:29 PM:

"putting on fishnet stockings"

Today, on FishnetStocking Reviews, we will talk about the latest by...

#796 ::: dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 07:35 PM:

Hairy Fishnets?

</channeling Opus from Bloom County>

(heck no, I wasn't going with the full original quote! ...not with Jim as the subject!)

#797 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 07:50 PM:

Diatryma #765: Display your science fiction that we may taunt you again.

#798 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 08:42 PM:

Dan @ 796... Didn't Opus once mention his fantasy of being used as a mat by Grace Jones while she danced wearing stiletto heels?

#799 ::: dan ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 08:57 PM:

Serge, I just don't remember that one <g>...

#800 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 09:13 PM:

This trainwreck has reached 800 comments now - is that a record?

#801 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 09:28 PM:

Paul Duncanson @ 754

Well, now see what you've done. I'm here at work almost a half-hour later than usual because I noticed your comment just as I was about to pack up and after falling off my chair (no liquids in the nasal passages, luckily), I just had to read the rest of the thread. Enough already, I'm hungry!

#802 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 09:40 PM:

#771

Are you the supplier of the 'hellium tanks' which I saw advertised on a truck this evening? (Just asking - I have no need for one in the foreseeable future!)

#803 ::: Jahaliel ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 09:41 PM:

i support lanaia and always will. people a) make mistakes and b) didn't she admit it? get a life people.

#804 ::: green_knight ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 09:41 PM:

Simon @692: She didn't think to look? Sorry, welcome to the legal concept of 'constructive notice' - you could easily have found out, so the court assumes you did and takes it from there

My google-fu is not strong enough to find David Gemmel's original text. Unless you know the book in question, I do not think there is an easy way of finding it - historical fiction by fantasy authors tends not to be on anyone's radar.

(The only references I could find were to Lanaia's text; there are several of them, and thanks to this exercise I can now admire the golden-haired boy: it's a phrase frequently associated with Alexander.)

#805 ::: green_knight ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 09:47 PM:

me @804: when using emphasis tags, check that they're written correctly. Sorry. The first paragraph isn't mine, it's Simon's.

#806 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 10:16 PM:

green_knight @ 804: My google-fu is not strong enough to find David Gemmel's original text. ... The only references I could find were to Lanaia's text....

Because Gemmell's text is copyrighted and has never been e-published.

It would have been infringement to post a chapter of his text (without his permission) even if it had been under his own name. To do so repeatedly and under someone else's name only makes things worse.

#807 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 10:20 PM:

The first link in Mr. Macdonald's original post leads to the relevant page on barnesandnoble.com. If you click on "see inside" and then "chapter 1" you can read the original text.

Alternatively, you can use this link.

#808 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 10:26 PM:

And #803 seems to be completely missing the point of the entire thread.

#809 ::: DB ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 10:34 PM:

PJ Evans @ 808: From what I've seen on various blogs, messageboards and Yahoo groups the past week, missing the point is required for admission to that fan club.

#810 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 10:56 PM:

There are mistakes, and then there are mistakes.

#811 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 11:45 PM:

Mary Aileen #792, Jim #793: Ah. Thanks. I've taken a nap and re-read it, and yes, it was me. Sorry for the bother.

#812 ::: green_knight ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2007, 11:49 PM:

Pyre @806

Sometimes openings or first chapters get quoted, so it wasn't entirely unrealistic to think that google might throw up something, but I think it makes my point: for someone who has a facility with language it might have been easy to guess that Hill's text was not written by him; but unless you knew the book, it was anything but easy to establish where it came from. Even googling for novels dealing with Alexander the Great was not much help: this is a nice and comprehensive listing from 1920 to 2006, and it does include David Gemmel's 'Lion of Macedon' (as well as other genre novels) - but the Dark Prince is not listed. Finding the source was, I would argue, _not_ trivial.

Which doesn't make any of the rest of the hole any less deep and steep-sided, but I felt it was a point worth clearing up. I have no idea how else one would find the source in a case like this.

#813 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:10 AM:

green_knight #812: It takes someone who has seen the text before. You're right: Google-fu doesn't always do the job. IMO, she's very fortunate that someone spotted that before it went to print.

#814 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:18 AM:

Argh. I failed to read your comment closely enough and as a result offered up some completely useless information. My apologies, green_knight.

#815 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:25 AM:

Owlmirror, another saying I've seen used as a sig:

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." — Catherine Aird

#816 ::: Alma Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:42 AM:

green_knight - at this point I can freely accept the fact that Lanaia did not know WHAT text, precisely, had been copied at the time that it had been copied, or that any particular INDIVIDUAL text had been copied - these are the risks you take, I guess, in the business.

The thing in this whole mess that burns me is simply the fact that here's someone who professes to have a "gift" that she wants to "share with the world", that this is her dream, that this is something she just really really wants... and then she goes away and hires a ghostwriter to do the dirty work for her.

I'm sorry, but for me that is the bottom line. If you want to be a writer, then YOU will write. You won't pay someone else to do it for you. You most emphatically won't then take those words and tack your own name on them and try and get them published in any way you can and give media interviews about how hard you worked on the manuscript and so on. You have the dream, you do the work. You DON'T get to call yourself an author by slapping your name on the cover of a book. You just don't.

I've known too many people whose dream was real enough that they sweated blood and tears over their work, and then had to put some darling aside and roll up their sleeves and start again, rinse and repeat, lean against a brick wall until it falls down or you do. When every word is yours. When you breathe on every word to give it life. You. *YOU*. Not someone you slip a dollar or a thousand dollars to do it for you. It's YOUR dream. Own it, or walk away.

It's become a case of what did she know and when did she know it. That might be the legal question. For me, the deeper one is the underlying ethical question of it all. The fact that she - in the face of being outed for this all over the Internet in great and gory detail - she still maintained her "innocence" and that she did nothing wrong, for as long as she could still manage to do it. THat she still insisted that she had the gift, that she owned the dream which she had just tried to buy a simulacrum of by hiring someone to write - I don't know - BETTER than she could? Differently? Whatever, that she hired someone to write for her and then claimed that SHE was the writer with the gift and the drive and the dream. It is that part of ir that bothers me the most, really.

Maybe because I could no more conceive of doing it than I could conceive of asking someone to perform a heart transplant and then coming out of the OR in someone else's bloody gown and gloves and claiming that the hands which had held a living and beating human heart had been mine.

#817 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 01:00 AM:

Alma, exactly. What is the point of writing if you are unwilling to? How can you proclaim having a 'gift' if it is only used to hurl insults at people who are trying to help you?

**wanders off in serch of some pepsi**

#818 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 01:15 AM:

Glinda @ 769: The letters are Hex, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Microsoft...

(...which has been going around the internet since before the Balrog wings flamewar in r.a.b.t, sometimes updating the version to match the most recent one.)

#820 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 01:45 AM:

PJ @ 808... completely missing the point of the entire thread

Has Abi been up to her spy tricks and doing things with points again?

#821 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 02:05 AM:

Teresa, #766, Reen Brust will want to have a talk with you about the NDE. If you come to Minicon next year, maybe we can talk to her together.

#822 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 03:19 AM:

Throughout this thread, I have been reminded of Miles Vorkosigan's letter in A Civil Campaign:

I wanted to give you a victory. But by their essential nature triumphs can’t be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. Victories can’t be gifts.

#823 ::: green_knight ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 07:14 AM:

Alma @816:
I hear you. Oh, how I hear you, and I am incredibly happy to know that you have not lost any of that passion; too many writers get bogged down.

When I first read about this case, I was puzzled - how can one claim to want to be a writer and pay someone else to write? - but I have come to the conclusion that the world Lanaia inhabits is not the one we live in. Unfortunately, this seems to make her a target for every scammer on the planet, and I am furious for people like Christopher Hill and her current 'agent' to take advantage of that.

When I started writing, I was imensely protective of my words. The idea that someone else should take my words, my ideas, and mess with them was a red flag before a bull.

(Yes, I've grown up since then. I've also learnt to write better, so I _can_ provide alternative wordings or scenes for anything that doesn't work as well as it should.)

But even now, if someone came up to me and said 'I can help you get published... but only if you throw away half of your book and use mine' I would spit in their eye before leaving.

#824 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 07:39 AM:

abi at #822 writes:

> Throughout this thread, I have been reminded of Miles Vorkosigan's letter in A Civil Campaign:

And of Aral's talk to Miles about the difference between honour and reputation:

"There is no more hollow feeling than to stand with your honour shattered at your feet while soaring public reputation wraps you in rewards"

Elaborate self deception makes my flesh creep with horror.

#825 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 07:45 AM:

Abi @ 822... This reminds me of one thing I never could understand about cheating, especially when it involves passing a major test that'll determine if you are qualified. Eventually, your not-really-being-qualified will be revealed. What then will the cheating have gotten you except to delay the moment when the truth will come out?

#826 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 09:18 AM:

Gabriele C @800:

I'm sure there must be a longer trainwreck than this somewhere in the ML archives, but I can't think where. We've well and truly surpassed the Rimmer debacle, which was quite a long-running one.

Of course all the parody that this has inspired has helped a lot.

#827 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 09:49 AM:

Steve Taylor @824: See also Dubois' comments to Rico in Starship Troopers about taking pride in earning moderate awards vs. accepting unearned awards.

Jules @ 826: There was a thread which went over 1000 posts, a few months ago. I don't remember which one.

#828 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 09:53 AM:

I can believe that she did do a bunch of the writing, and that the ghostwriter just rounded things off and added some material here and there. We've seen that she does have ideas, and passion about those ideas, even if her expression of those ideas needs some work.
But where I lost sympathy was where she took a bit that she knew she did not write and put it in public spaces and said "so, do you like my writing?"
At that point I don't care if the bit was plagiarized or written by a helpful ghostwriter, I care that she used other people's words to garner praise for "her" writing.

I ran a writer's group, lo these many years ago. One guy wrote these great stories, funny little fantasy pieces that were the absolute highlight of reading evenings. He was the toast of the group and universally admired.
Then I started reading Zelazny. Lots of funny little fantasy pieces that were very, very familiar.
This guy, he wasn't necessarily a bad person, and neither is Lanaia, necessarily. But he wanted to be admired. He wanted to bask in the glow of our admiration and approval, to forget whatever greyness was in his life and be Someone Special. What he didn't want to do was work for it, and that makes all the difference.

#829 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 10:06 AM:

Abi @822: YES!!!

Alma @816: word. Exactly how I feel about my photography. Work and fail, and work and fail, and work and succeed. Sometimes, two shots out of a roll of 24 are worth it. Sometimes it's all crap. But it's MINE!

Bill @828: You couldn't prove that by what I've seen. From what I've seen in that first chapter, characters AND plot seem to have been copied as well as...well, as well as everything else. You're probably right about the diagnosis and I've come to feel very sorry for her.

#830 ::: green_knight ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 10:20 AM:

Serge @825:

It's all about a sense of entitlement. Victims often have it in spades - they believe they are entitled to the rewards because they've worked hard, or because they've got talent, or because people who are not as morally upright as them get more rewards, or...

Reasons vary, but in their minds, the world owes them, so they're merely helping the world along a little.

And to some degree I can emphasize with it, because if you go through life long enough you *will* encounter people who treat you unfairly, and I'm pretty certain that everyone in this thread had that feeling at some point of their lives that it's not fair, they'd deserved to win/pass the test/get picked for a team/job/partnership ...

The problem with Victims is that they see all of life in this light. It's a very unhealthy pattern of thinking that carries its own rewards. In the beginning, it gathers a lot of sympathy: you poor thing, so hard done by, let me sympathize, so the person comes back for another fix. And at some point - see this thread - all they get from their surroundings is 'grow up and deal with this, you're not being unjustly persecuted, you're being _justly_ persecuted, so will you just shut up and apologize' which, of course, leaves them completely puzzled...

#831 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 10:30 AM:

So, Lalala... oops, Lanaia is the Britney Spears of writing? :)

Alma, well said.

Of course, I enjoy the creative process or I won't be writing, but there are many days when the good words are elusive little critters scurrying out of reach, when the dialogue hides under a rock and has to be dragged out kicking and screaming, and the whole process of getting the scene in your head onto paper (or into the computer) is hard work and a fight and no fun. But then comes the moment when things begin to fall into place, when the scene takes shape and some lines of description appear from nowhere and fit.

I posted the scene on my blog for my friends to read, and one commenter quoted a line from the dialogue and said it stuck with her all day because it had so much power.

Then you know it's worth all the sweat and blood. How can you feel like that if you didn't drag the words onto the page, didn't edit the crappy dialogue until it shone and had power, didn't come up with that one action that shows more about the character than an entire page of psychological analysis would?

(For the record, I don't post all my writing on my blog, only some snippets. Often the satisfaction I get out of a piece that finally works is purely to myself so far. Maybe one day a publisher will like what he reads. :)

#832 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 11:02 AM:

Joel @827
1000 comments? Wow. The most I got on my blog was 23. What am I doing wrong? *grin*

Emma @829
But the more you do it, the more you'll learn how to do it better, and some day you'll get 5 good pics out of a roll, and then maybe 8.

I won't want to miss the satisfaction when I've made progress in something. Be it getting more good pics out of a roll, be it the first conversation in a foreign language that goes without stumbling and searching for words, be it reading the muck I wrote in 2001 and comparing it to what I write now, realising that I have learned to integrate description and backstory into a scene without interrupting the flow.

You can't pay for that sort of gratification.

#833 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 11:07 AM:

Gabriele @831: I think there's a different motivation for being a writer, though, and that's when you have _ideas_ that you want to get out. In such a case, hiring a ghostwriter to work from a synopsis you've drafted might be satisfying enough.

It also goes hand-in-hand with the belief that ideas are the most important thing in a book and that all you need to have a successful book is the right idea for it.

For me, though, I agree that only if they're _my_ words is it worth doing any of it.

#834 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 11:20 AM:

Part of what I Don't Get is that Lanaia's protagonist is a high priest from Atlantis, 4000 BCE, somewhere in what we now call the Bermuda Triangle, where there was roughly-mid-20th-century technology and (from the excerpts) no magic per se. Gemmell's protagonist is a prince in a fantasy Macedon, ca. 4th century BCE, with a fair bit of magic in the mix (or so I infer from descriptions of the novel). Regardless of the name-changing, the characters have nothing in common apart from being young, important, long ago, and far away. The plagiarized material is completely inconsistent with Lanaia's original story, or at least the parts of it that she's posted. It isn't about her "Archamedes".

#835 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 11:32 AM:

Jules @833
Agreed. But it's not what Lanaia says; she insists on writing being a therapy for her, and having a gift she wants to share with the world.

I can see reason for fe. an old man telling his WW2 experiences to a ghostwriter and having him put them in a coherent form to share with others. If both parties are honest about who provided what in the book, I'm fine with it. Or lets assume the stroke Lanaia suffered has afflicted the area in her brain that forms coherent sentences, so she pays someone to give shape to her ideas - that would be ok as long as she owed up what was her part in it upfront.

But if you want to be a writer, write your own words. :)

#836 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 11:37 AM:

* owned up
I do know English, really. ;)

#837 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 11:40 AM:

Gabriele @ 832... 1000 comments? Wow. The most I got on my blog was 23. What am I doing wrong?

You have to bring up Bugs Bunny's cross-dressing tendencies. When it was done here, that got even Jane Yolen to post.

#838 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 11:58 AM:

Alma @ 816, applause.

#839 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:18 PM:

Ironically enough, I can sincerely say that Lanania has lit a fire under my freestyle verse writin' arse a second time and even third time.

O_o

#840 ::: Sue Denim ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:27 PM:

What's a "Yell Box"?

#841 ::: emmigeek ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:31 PM:

Shawn, those freestyle poems crack me up.

#842 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:41 PM:

Lol Serge @837
I think I'll stick to posts about the Romans and pictures of Mediaeval churches in Germany. At least I don't have to google those (I admit I had to look up Bugs Bunny).

:)

#843 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:46 PM:

@841, emmigeek:

Thanks. nerd life 4 ever, don'cha know.

#844 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:46 PM:

"Yell box" seems to be a genericized* YellBox, a chat window you can install on your web site.

*Like "Kleenex" for facial tissue, "Xerox" for photocopy, "Clorox" for chlorine bleach, etc.

Not to be confused with a soapbox.

#845 ::: Anne Marble ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 12:54 PM:

James D. Macdonald wrote Someone else who's unclear on the concept.

Oh, I hadn't seen the latest, but I'd heard that she froze the comments and scolded people for daring to be upset. How would she react if one of her own stories had been plagiarized?

I still want to know who gets to be the little girl who drowned because the Frankenstein monster thought she was a flower.

#846 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 01:04 PM:

Gabriele @ 842... You didn't know who Bugs Bunny was? Today's kids... They don't know the good stuff. When I was your age, cartoons had male characters dress like women in a spoof of the Barber of Seville, and they had dynamite sticks blow up in their faces and they kept asking for more.

#847 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 01:22 PM:

Serge @842
What a charming compliment. I'm probably old enough that I should know Bugs Bunny, only I have never been interested in pop culture and rarely watch TV. I'm still lost when people on my blogroll post about Lost and Heroes and what's that other one, CSN Someplace? despite the fact I know German TV shows most of the stuff.

I did watch the first series of Rome, though. :)

#848 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 01:28 PM:

Gabriele... I bought my wife the DVD of Rome's first season. We still haven't watched it. Is it reasonably accurate?

#849 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 01:56 PM:

It's definitely more accurate than the Hollywood stuff like Spartacus, Gladiator, King Arthur and The Last Legion (of which I've seen the trailer only), but it's not free of some problems. I think the way Cleopatra is shown as drug addict doesn't do her justice, some steps in Vorenus' career are very unusual, and no fleet sank in the wars against Pompeius. But most of the basic facts are correct, and the decorations/clothes are pretty good. It's a fun romp that didn't make me cringe too much.

And no Bollywood ninja fighter girl anywhere. :)

#850 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 02:10 PM:

Gabriele @ 849... What? No Bollywood ninja fighter girl in Ancient Rome? Bah humbug.

#851 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 02:26 PM:

*remember to add 1 bollywood ninja fighter girl to everything I write.

#852 ::: Gregory Frost ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 02:35 PM:

"Lanaia: When I first started Of Atlantis, I hire a ghost writer Christopher Hill. I see what he did now and for that I aplogize. I was scammed. I apologize to Mr. Hemmel's memory and his family."

So indeed, "A) the dog did it" is the correct answer.

Sorry, you can't (unless you're William Shatner) gush over how you have this wonderful gift to share and then tell us you hired a ghostwriter to share it for you. Bad bad bad. (Actually, Shatner never admitted it either.)

#853 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 02:37 PM:

Serge @850 Too bad, isn't it? :)

That's where I have problems with those movies; they get too far off and yet claim to be 'historical'. If Bruckheimer had called his Arthur just another version of the legend that put the story back into 5th century Britain where the real Arthur, if he existed, most likely would have lived, I'd be fine with it. But no, he got his hands on this essay about the Sarmatians, never checked its credibility, and so the poor guys ended up in Britain at a time they never had been there. ;)

Another thing I hate is Bush-style patriotic speeches.

What I can understand is the need to come up with a coherent story and thus play with sub-facts as long as the final outcome isn't afflicted. There never has been a plot to abduct Octavian (the later Emperor Augustus) but it gives the fictive Rome MCs Vorenus and Pullio something to do, and the way Octavian's character is shown pretty much depicts the real guy after what we can dedicate from the biased sources.

It's the same when I make the Roman general Germanicus and the German leader Arminius friends. We know that Arminius fought in the Roman army, held the citizenship and equestrian rank. Since the only war going on at the time in question was in Pannonia, and Germanicus an officer there, they would have met. To make them friends is my invention because it will give the wars in Germania 15-16 AD where Germanicus commands the Roman army against Arminius' allied tribes so much more impact.

Tacitus just 'forgot' to mention that pesky little detail. *grin*

We have deviated a lot from the original plagiarism topic, though. Sorry for that.


#854 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 03:31 PM:

Gabriele @ 853... We have deviated a lot from the original plagiarism topic, though. Sorry for that.

First, aren't you glad that we've finally left that subject behind? Also, if people were banished for sending things off-topic, soon the only sound heard in these parts would be the singing of crickets.

That being said... And ethan will not be unduly shocked to read this... I liked the movie Arthur. It wasn't historically accurate? How often do movies let accuracy get in the way of a story? I'd prefer if things were accurate, but if they're not, I look at the movie as its own Reality. It was a very flawed movie, downright stupid in parts(*), but it had Clive Owen, Ioan Gruffud and Keira Knightley to make up for some of the deficiencies.

(*) Why would they build the Wall to keep Stellan Starsgaard away, only to have a Roman run an estate smack in the middle of the territory?

#855 ::: Alma Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 03:35 PM:

Gabriele Campbell #853

We have deviated a lot from the original plagiarism topic, though. Sorry for that.

Well, when in Rome... [grin]

#856 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:02 PM:

Serge @854
The movie had its fun parts (yes, mostly Clive Owen, Ioan Gruffud, and the battle scenes), and I would not have issues with the lack of historical correctness - particularly with such a legend-based subject - had it not been advertised as 'the historical version of Arthur'. Just well it never got as popular as Braveheart, or there would have been more damage.

The Roman villa north of the Wall cracked me up, too. The Romans never settled there, not even when the border was pushed further north during the time the Antonine Wall was in use; they knew better than to build villas in a land creeping with tribesmen who would have loved to loot some shiny objects. Also, the land isn't exactly fertile there, so it was mostly about getting the tribes pay taxes and stop warring with the Brigantes south of the Wall who were unruly allies to begin with.

Self respecting Romans lived in Eburacum, and had villas in the south of Britain. :)

#857 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:04 PM:

Serge, your ability to surprise me dissipated long ago...

#858 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:12 PM:

Our youngest (who has Down's) watches the "Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Movie" incessantly. It has gotten to the point where the entire house can repeat all of "What's Opera, Doc?" from memory. Except Thomas: he says "beep beep!" instead.

#859 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:18 PM:

Gabriele... 'the historical version of Arthur'

I missed that bit when the movie came out and, had I not, I'd have shrugged it off as PT Barnum garbage. Personally, I'd have preferred if the movie had gone into outright fantasy with Roman elements in the brew. There was a mini-series with Sam Neil as Merlin that sort-of did that a few years before, but unfortunately it had Martin Short in it and a racoon-eyed Morgana.

#860 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:19 PM:

Ok, now you have me hooked. I'm a total opera geek, so how does that Doc explain what's opera? :)

#861 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:20 PM:

ethan @ 857... grumblegrumbledarnkidsnorespectmuttergrumble...

#862 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:27 PM:

Ok, now you have me hooked. I'm a total opera geek, so how does that Doc explain what's opera? :)

Kill da waabit, kill da waaaabit, KILL DA WAAAAAAABIIIIT!

#863 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:28 PM:

Gabriele @ 856

Or they lived in the mountains, and coveted villas on the south coast. (snicker)

(I've seen some of those villas. Pretty nice places, with the central heating and all.)

#864 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:31 PM:

Serge @861 You want my sword to teach him a lesson?

This is so much fun. I bet we can crack the 1000 post mark on this. :)

Though I should edit that torture scene.

#865 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:36 PM:

Bill @862, thank you.

Well, what did you expect in an opera; a happy ending?

ROFLMAO

#866 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:39 PM:

re 860: The apotheosis (as it were) of Looney Tunes.

#867 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:41 PM:

PJ Evans @863
The Romans were amazing architects. I've seen a lot or their remains in Germany and the UK. There is a bridge in Trier which still has the original Roman pylons and continues to be used.

#868 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:51 PM:

Shawn, it's a pity Mary/Lanaia didn't hire you, rather than C.Hill, as a ghostwriter.

You've done a beautiful job of expressing her viewpoint in her style (though far better-written), which C.Hill never even attempted to do.

Well, yes, as satire or parody, but still....

#869 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:55 PM:

Gabriele @ 864... You want my sword to teach him a lesson?

I have my own gladius, but we could take turns.

"Stwike him, cetuwion! Vewy woughly!"

#870 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 04:57 PM:

Gabriele

I was also impressed by Hadrian's wall. They did some good construction work back then.

#871 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 05:02 PM:

Lol, the Romans are taking over.

But be careful with those bunnies, they can get pretty vicious.

#872 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 05:21 PM:

P J @ 870... I was also impressed by Hadrian's wall. They did some good construction work back then.

Then my wife came along and she broke the Wall.

#873 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 05:34 PM:

Serge @ 872

Ah, a Barbarian Invader coming over the wall!

(I have to admit, that when I was there, we stood on top, faced south, and saluted the Romans. With one finger. Hey, we're barbarians!)

#874 ::: Scott Oden ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 05:45 PM:

Something that has always puzzled me about the King Arthur movie* (as we're headed off-topic anyway) is why the Woads, with their spiffy Woad-powered trebuchets (twebuchets?), didn't just pick a convenient spot and batter the Wall down? The screen writers, err . . . the Woads, apparently weren't too bright.

Scott Oden

(Hi, Gabriele!)

*There's a lot more that puzzles me about that movie . . . and about 300, too. C'mon . . . RuPaul as Xerxes?

#875 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 05:47 PM:

P J @ 873... Ah, a Barbarian Invader coming over the wall!

"Centurion Biggus Dickus..."
"Yes, Pseudolus?"
"There's... a... a... girl on the wall."
"Eek!"

#876 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 05:49 PM:

Hey, my Roman can beat your Roman any day. :)

#877 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 05:54 PM:

Serge @875: "Centurion Biggus Dickus..."

Sounds like a character from a porn film to me.

#878 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 05:56 PM:

Ok, before you all run of screaming, here's a less dangerous one (taken in Housesteads). :)

Hi Scott,
I haven't seen 300 yet. I'll wait until one of the German TV channels for which I have to pay a monthly fee anyway buys the thing.

But it can't be worse than Archamedes of Atlanta. :)

#879 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 05:57 PM:

Scott Oden... Woad else did you expect from Hollywood?

#880 ::: Peggy ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 06:03 PM:

Seth @788: What are the odds he copied several chapters of a book by accident?

Until Mr. Hill is contacted, we don't know whether he actually WAS involved; we only have Ms. Lee and Ms. Pillsbury's word that he was. Yes, yes, I know Ms. Lee posted what appear to be emails from Mr. Hill, but we don't have anything demonstrating their provenance. Right now, they're hearsay.

#881 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 06:13 PM:

Gabriele: Re photography.

I've been doing it for more than twenty years. I still don't count on getting more than one shot out of thirty-six.

Part of that is that I shoot more, part of it is that I've changed in what I want. Part of it is that (as Ansel Adams complained) a 35mm camera is easy and film is cheap (when I'm using the 2 1/4, or the 4x5 my hit rate goes up, but the time to make an exposure goes up too, by a lot).

I want perfection. Perfection is hard to attain(and that's just in the limited realm of photography). I settle for damned good. Damned good is hard enough.

The customer will often like things I hate. This is hard to prepare for, since (with art photos) I am fronting all the costs of making prints. I have to wonder what I've done which someone will like, and I would rather toss in the trash.

#882 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 06:15 PM:

Jules @ 877... I take it that you never saw Monty Python's Life of Bryan, which is about someone born at the same time as Jesus, but a few doors down.

"Beware of false sex!"

#883 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 06:19 PM:

Gabriele @ 878... "Hey! You planning to walk away with that stone?"

#884 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 06:23 PM:

Lol Serge, I couldn't pry it loose.

#885 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 06:24 PM:

#875: Centurion Biggus Dickus

Actually, he never served. Four student deferments ...

#886 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 07:56 PM:

(Restraining myself from tearing the house apart looking for the shot of the elder spawn, at about 16 months, chasing black-faced sheep at Houstead's fort, or at least the one of his sister, twelve years later, in the barracks at Chester Fort).

#887 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 08:03 PM:

Peggy @ 880: Until Mr. Hill is contacted, we don't know whether he actually WAS involved; we only have Ms. Lee and Ms. Pillsbury's word that he was.

For what it's worth, Victoria Strauss (who's familiar with Hill's scamming technique) believes Hill WAS involved with this.

Lee's early insistence that she and she alone wrote every word -- covering up her use of a ghostwriter -- is what pinned the blame for intentional infringement squarely on herself.

That she only mentioned having a ghostwriter after the proof of infringement had been hammered home is what made it seem like a mere shifting of blame.

And, despite Hill's villainy in this case being quite credible, Lee's own behavior since the exposure (e.g. accusing the exposers, making a pity play, and even rewriting the prologue as a point-by-point paraphrase of Gemmell's chapter) has been quite bad enough to keep the criticism coming straight at her, not just at Hill in absentia.

Had she responded differently, this would already have blown over for her, and been remembered solely as another Hill scam.

#888 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 08:17 PM:

Pyre #887: Word.

Now, if she had never read Gemmell, I could understand why she'd want to at least look into the accusation for herself first. No problem. But once she realized she'd been taken, the thing to do would have been to apologize and remove the material.

Yeah, she says (and this is apparently confirmed) that her webmistress has to remove the material. But darn it, if I got a message from a client stating that something had to be removed ASAP for legal reasons, I'd do it pretty darned quick. (Assuming I wasn't on vacation, which I haven't been in three years. But that sad story is off topic.)

I suppose if an actual DMCA notice had been served that things would have moved faster. That's just speculation.

I'm going to go cleanse my brain by watching Britcoms.

#889 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 08:34 PM:

JESR @886 There are still sheep at Housesteads. I've been there in June this year.

But I'm not linking to more blogposts lest I'll be accused of starfucking. *grin*

#890 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 08:44 PM:

Terry Karney @881

I understand you're a professional, so I can see why you would aim for perfection or at least damned good. But for me, photographing is a hobby and I aim for decent. I even have sold some photos to a publisher for a non fiction book, but usually I post them on my blog to illustrate posts about history.

Photographing has been my creative outlet before I discovered (or re-discovered after some horrible Mary Sue self-insert teenage War and Peace meets Hornblower fanfiction) writing, and it continues to be. Writing might be the hobby that could turn into a profession.

#891 ::: Jedit ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 08:56 PM:

Bit of a pedant, I'm afraid: Dark Prince was not at any time part of a five-book series. It's the second of the two books Gemmell wrote about Parmenion, which are connected loosely to the five books of the Sipstrassi Tales. Of the seven books, it was the sixth to be published. This isn't significant in the grand scheme of things, but there's enough falsehoods in this thread courtesy of Lanaia without adding more.

On the subject of whom: why are people still asking her to "do the right thing"? She has lied, and cheated, and stolen; she has defended these acts with every breath in her body, and attempted ever-escalating feats of emotional blackmail to deflect any suggestion of wrongdoing on her part. I'm all in favour of not wanting people to suffer if it's avoidable and won't criticise if you want to give them the benefit of the doubt while such still exists, but there must come a point where you say "Enough" and in my opinion she's past it. You tried your best to help her. Nobody can expect any more of you than that, and nobody can blame you if she spurns you and suffers thereby. Now, let her fall.

#892 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 09:43 PM:

YouTube link to What's Opera, Doc?

#893 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 10:18 PM:

Thank you, Bob. That's funny indeed.

Now I have my brain full of Wagner melodies. I only hope I won't start singing them in my dreams; I don't think the neighbours will appreciate that sort of perfomrmance at 4 am. :)

#894 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2007, 10:40 PM:

Ah, but wait until you hear The Rabbit of Seville!

#895 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 12:14 AM:

Gabrielle Campbell @ 890

For many years I took photos very carefully, wanting as many as possible to work out well. In the last few years I've realized that I missed a lot of good pictures by being so selective. So now I shoot anything that looks possible, and maybe one in 10 on some shoots will be worth keeping and on others perhaps one in 100. It's a hobby, so it doesn't affect any clients, but I made that change shortly before my older son asked me to be the photographer at his wedding. Good thing too, because my former style just wouldn't have worked for a wedding where I really needed to get a lot of shots.

#896 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 02:03 AM:

Bruce Cohen (StM): That is, actually, a more professional attitude. Film is cheap (esp. at weddings, where there will never be a second chance to get the shot).

When I got back from Galapagos I had about 8,000 frames. There are about 300 which are my attempt to get a single sort of shot (a booby at the moment of impact). I have one, which fills the bill.

It's part of why I have a love/hate relationship with my digital body. It lets me shoot that way (at $20 per 36 frames, well 8,000 frames would have been really expensive).

Gabrielle: I understand the difference between the pro/am/who cares shooter.

What I've seen that the better one gets, the better one wants to be, so that the number of shots one gets, which one likes, tends to stay the same.

Oh, and I can beat up your roman. :}

#897 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 02:10 AM:

Did someone say Rabbit of Seville? Una la volta!

I've also had a lot of enjoyment looking through the list of 50 Greatest Cartoons, which might have been a Particle here.

#898 ::: hollywdliz ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 02:28 AM:

Oh, man. This thread has eaten my brain. The whole spectacular mess is at once compelling and repellent. (Compellent?)

I'm a newspaper copy editor, so keeping an eye out for plagiarism is part of the gig. Staff reporters, I'm happy to say, generally know better, but we have problems with freelancers from time to time. It never ceases to amaze me that people think they can get away with stealing someone else's writing and passing it off as their own in the Google era.

True, I don't Google random lines of text unless I sense that something is off -- the writing style is suddenly much better or just jarringly different from the rest of the piece or the writer's other work, for example. Nine times out of ten, if I bust out the Google-fu after feeling like something's not right, I find evidence of plagiarism. Sometimes it's obvious that the writer simply went to the first or second result for a given keyword and lifted straight from that page, apparently thinking that nobody fact-checking the article would do the same search. Hello?

While, as pointed out above, Google-fu would probably not have worked in Ms. Lee's case, everything she has done since being made aware of the plagiarism is a big black mark against her. She's not acting like an innocent person, and while she may be innocent of direct plagiarism (assuming Hill did the lifting), I wonder if her defensive reaction stems from guilt over using a ghostwriter. But I might be hoping for too much. Earth logic has no place in this quagmire.

On a side note, I'm wondering why the Burlington paper hasn't issued a correction to the story they were duped into writing about Kellis/Lee. It's clearly warranted. Maybe they're working on another story about how they were duped? I won't hold my breath.

#899 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 03:25 AM:

Serge @848: [..] I bought my wife the DVD of Rome's first season. We still haven't watched it. Is it reasonably accurate?

Worth watching, I'd say. Artistically accurate, maybe; historically accurate, maybe not.

I thought I'd seen a wikipedia page that detailed the liberties with history that were taken by Rome (better than the link I provided), but I couldn't find it now.

#900 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 05:02 AM:

Complaints Department and/or Company President
Underworld Typewriter Company, LLLP


To Whom it May Concern:

Please note that I am writing this the old-fashioned way, longhand style, with a pen and ink and everything. I hope to explain why.

I heard of your product in the general marketplace. Nu, I was interested. I do some writing, and I like the idea of something that would make it easier. But I was not about to buy a sheep in a sack (or as the goyim say, a pig in a poke)! And the contract details! What, you want blood from me? My very soul??!! Absolutely not! At least, not without having a better idea of what I am getting in return.

Fortunately, or so I thought, one of your sales representatives was willing to negotiate. I pointed out that since I am a wealthy man, I might well buy more than one of these things, or offer my endorsement in the marketplace. Surely a testimonial might be worth a chance? The rep agreed to compromise, and allow me to try it out for a day, with his supervision, and the understanding that I would purchase if I was satisfied.

So, your rep comes over and sets the thing up, your "Underworld Typewriter Mark 616", he said it was. Let me tell you, it does not look pretty. It's actually menacing, with hints of bone and claw in the appearance of the actual type, and keys the colour of old fangs. And the colour of the case! My G_d, it looked almost exactly like blotchy, clotted blood. Absolutely revolting to the eyes. What, you couldn't do something in a nice pastel shade? Or at least a basic black?

The physical construction of the machine was very bad, not just shoddy, but actually literally painful. What, did your head of manufacturing say "Quality control be damned!"? It certainly looks that way. Let me tell you, there was something very wrong with the keys of the thing, right from the start. Just trying to type drew blood! I couldn't quite see the points or edges, but I sure could feel them! I ended up borrowing some thimbles from my wife and daughters and servants.

Once all of my fingers were protected, it was easier to use. And yes, I was able to make words come out, and rather quickly got the hang of it. Maybe... too quickly?

I tried typing a small short story. After several paragraphs, the resulting text was very good, but looked very familiar. I hunted through my library, and found a particular volume, and sure enough, it was an exact match to what I had typed. Somehow, the typewriter had forced me to spontaneously and unconsciously copy someone else's work!

I also noticed something really strange. Sometimes, what I typed would come out strangely twisted in meaning. For example, after several iterations of "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog", the phrase would change to be the fox and the hound doing something obscene and blasphemous and viciously violent. Curse words appeared in perfectly ordinary sentences. A letter to someone who owes me money, saying that I would be glad to allow him to postpone payment for a while, suddenly had a nasty physical threat included in it. Where the hell was this stuff coming from?

And the final straw was this: Any time I tried to type in anything to do with G_d, or that is holy, the machine locked up. I first noticed this when I tried to type "Thank G_d for all of my blessings". It typed the first few letters, then all of the keys jammed together. I used a pencil to unjam them (no way was I going to put my fingers in there), then tried again. Same exact thing. Then I realized that it wouldn't even let me type the word "G_d" alone. The word "blessings"? No. The word "almighty"? No. The word "torah"? Nope. The word "holy"? No. The word "holiday"? No. The word "Sabbath"? No.

As I was trying different words, I thought of typing in "In the beginning, G_d created the heavens and the earth", but in order to do so, I got down my bible, and put it right next to the machine, and the one came in contact with the other.

Well! Such a thing I have never seen before, and I hope never to again. The typewriter gave this huge, spontaneous paroxysmic clatter, and some of the keys actually fused together, and others actually broke off, and the machine started to lose its shape and sort of melt a bit into a strange and disturbingly lumpy inchoate mass, stinking of brimstone and worse smells, and briefly making an unpleasant screaming sound.

Your sales rep, who had stepped away for a bit, came running, and he was very not happy. But I stood my ground, and insisted that I had been using the machine in a very ordinary way, and it had spontaneously broken. He insisted that since I had broken it, I had bought it, while I argued that I had signed no contract, and nor was I about to.

We argued for a bit, but he finally gathered the pieces and left in a seething fury. Such a bad temper is not good for his heart, let alone for sales and customer relationships.

Look, I'm not a priest or a rabbi or anything like that, but I am a G_d-fearing man. I of course don't take G_d's name in vain, but I do write "G_d bless", or "G_d willing". I even worry about my sons sometimes; they're good boys, but maybe they run off at the mouth a bit, say something less than entirely nice about G_d (G_d forbid!) without meaning to? So I make a sacrifice on their behalf, just in case. So how can I use something which appears to treat G_d like some kind of anathema? No. Absolutely not!

I am very disappointed in your product, and the non-professional behavior of your sales representatives. I note that his parting shot was: "You will rue this day! I'm going straight to the top! And maybe even higher than that!" Well, I hope that this missive will explain my point of view in this debacle. I can but hope for some justice.

Very truly yours,
Job
The big house in the east with lots of land and cattle
Utz

#901 ::: Helen ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 06:34 AM:
My name is Cheryl Pillsbury, published in my own right, I'm also the founder of AG Press which did the work on the book, 'Of Atlantis.' Come to find out [sic] from a deep search into this issue, we discovered a former literary agent she worked with on this book gave her advice on how to write the prologue. Come to find out [sic], it is simular [sic] to his book. We didn't know this, we don't know him and never did until today. We do apologise for this, we are planning to do a re-write and remedey [sic] this issue. For people who throw stones at glasses houses [sic] [?] should be very cautious about speaking before they know the truth. Slander can cause a major lawsuit from the author and the publisher mentioned, because I will make sure they know about this and dear Jane will have nightmares in 10 fold [??]. Yes, I'm Wicca. [ A fruitcake is more like it!] I was just informed, the author has already set the motions for the lawsuit, be prepared. You were told by the lawyer not to post anything related to this issue, first amendement [sic] does not apply. I have made a copy of this site for proof, see you soon. Have a ducky day.

Wow, I knew the self-publishing industry was suspect, but I thought the people involved in it would at least have basic literacy.

#902 ::: green_knight ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 06:34 AM:

Bruce @895

I used to have a high rate of good photos to not-so-wonderful ones with my film camera. Then I went digital and started to be daring. What's a wasted shot of fifty if all you have to do is erase it from your hard disk? (They *do* take time, so it's not entirely costless.) I'm much more daring. I go for shots I didn't think would work, I try a different angle or perspective and I take another just because. I am getting a lot more pictures that are bad, as in 'delete immediately', and a lot more that didn't work after all - but I also get more pictures that are great, as opposed to merely good.

I think there's a lesson for me as a writer, too. Be daring. Dare to fail. Go and practice until the difficult thing is _right_ rather than going for the safe option.

Frustrating? Yes. Wasteful? Often. Rewarding? You bet.

#903 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 07:31 AM:

Every so often I like to play a photography game with myself: I walk home, the long way, and I have to take at least one picture on every block. I found it to be a really enjoyable way to improve my eye, and to learn to be risky.
When you start out by thinking, "there's a photo here and I'm going to find it, b'god!" it's amazing how many beautiful shots suddenly make themselves clear to you, or arise from desperate experimentation in a seemingly dull stretch of road.

#904 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 08:26 AM:

Helen #901: Basic literacy seems to be a disappearing art.

#905 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 08:56 AM:

you will live to rouge the day for making fun of good old whatshername.

#906 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 09:17 AM:

Helen, #901 -

I don't usually use it in text, but "come to find out," is a part of my speech at least occasionally. What's wrong with it here?

#907 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 10:09 AM:

Bill @903: my version of that is "drive-by shooting". Since my father retired he likes to drive me to work; I love it because it lets me take pictures. I point the camera out the window and see what happens. Two days ago we had a memorable afternoon storm resulting in memorable evening skies. Good shooting.

#908 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 10:14 AM:

bryan @ 905

Is that anything like "painting the town red"?

#909 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 11:11 AM:

I've been avoiding this thread for several days but dipped back in to see some of the amusing side excursions. Since a few comments are still about the original issue, I'll go ahead and semi-blurt what I've been thinking for some time: "Not guilty, by reason of...."

#910 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 11:20 AM:

"Not guilty, by reason of...."

Diddo.

#911 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 11:32 AM:

Helen @901: You're not even pointing out her gross abuses of punctuation, either.

R M Koske @906: I, for one, cannot parse it. It seems totally ungrammatical due primarily to lacking a subject:

"Come to find out, it is simular to his book."

What did the coming? Where is the place that it came to? Here? Why would you come here to find that out? And shouldn't it be in past tense? It just makes no sense at all.

#912 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 11:59 AM:

Me @911:

Ok, a little research suggests that it's a colloquialism reasonably common in large parts of southern US, and sometimes used elsewhere also, that has a meaning along the lines of "To my surprise, I found out that...".

Now that I think about it in these terms, I'm pretty sure I can hear Nathan Fillion using it in Firefly... Although I don't think he actually did. It just fits well.

It's still not grammatical (lacking a subject for the verb "come" and being in present tense when to make any real sense it should be in past, or at least progressive) but perhaps a common colloquialism can be given a pass on that.

#913 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 12:07 PM:

Jules @ 912:

I've always considered it a case of elision: [I have] come to find out. That would resolve both the lack of subject and the tense issues, at least.

#914 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 01:04 PM:

@866, Pyre:

Aw, shucks! Thanks! ^_^;

You'll enjoy this, then-- So, totally for no reason at all, of course, Mary posts a poem about stress and how it can kill those of ill health.

In one take, I bust out this response/riff.

#915 ::: Bernita ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 01:24 PM:

And, Shawn, you won a HUG, you lucky devil, you.

#916 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 01:25 PM:

#911 & #912, Jules -

Aah, I see the problem now. I honestly couldn't see anything wrong with it because it is a common phrase to me. Even the lack of a subject didn't register. While I can see that it looks like bad grammar because it lacks a subject, I can't actually force myself to believe that it is bad grammar, any more than the lack of subject in "Go to your room!" is bad grammar. Which is cultural bias on my part, I know.

This, more than anything, is one of the things that fascinates and surprises me about spending time on the internet. Things I never realized were regional or non-intuitive turn out to be both. I have the feeling it the new discoveries are good for me, though I'm not quite sure how.

#917 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 02:04 PM:

Owlmirror @900:
Fantastic.

#918 ::: Eleanor ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 03:01 PM:

#900: [chants] Owlmirror! Owlmirror! Owl-MIRROR!

I've never seen "come to find out" before, but I do use "come to think of it" and guessed it was analogous.

#919 ::: Peggy ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 05:26 PM:

Pyre @ 887

My only point is that LEGALLY, in court, everything in regards to Mr. Hill is hearsay. I respect Ms. Strauss's judgment, but I'm uncomfortable condemning Mr. Hill right now.

Ms. Lee and Ms. Pillsbury, however, have acted horribly since the plagiarism was discovered, and have convinced me of their guilt, however unintentional it might originally have been.

#920 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 06:18 PM:

Owlmirror @ 900

Mighty damn good, and impishly humorous.

#921 ::: Simon Bradshaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 06:43 PM:

green_knight @ 804

To be brutally frank, I don't think a court would accept Google as a full and adequate search. By Lanaia's own admission, she had warning some two years ago that the person ghost-writing her book had a serious reputation for dishonesty, which should have put her on notice that she should ensure that the work he was writing was not itself dishonestly produced.

I agree, doing this would not be easy; about the best way I could think of would be approaching a credible sf/fantasy reviewer and asking in confidence for a quick read of some sample material. That would at least have shown some level of due diligence, even if it hadn't picked up the plagiarism.

This probably sounds very harsh. But the law does take a harsh view of this sort of thing, because if it doesn't it is so easy for the dishonest to plead ignorance as an excuse. If you know you've got a bent ghostwriter, you shouldn't be surprised if people are sceptical when you claim that you didn't know he was committing plagiarism.

#922 ::: green_knight ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 07:39 PM:

Simon @ 921:

This getting-ghostwritten thing sounds like harder work than writing...

Going the reviewer road sounds plausible, although I don't think it is failsafe, particularly if Lanaia does not think of herself as a genre writer - I don't think a mainstream reviewer would be familiar with Dark Prince.

Which completely ignores the fact that Lanaia was so blinded that not only was she happy to pay money to a known fraudster, she does not appear to have questioned the deviations from her own ideas.

I do idly wonder how Hill came up with the idea. Did he agree to ghostwrite because he'd noticed just the right novel to rip off? Or did he suggest the ghostwriting? We shall never know, but we can speculate...

#923 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 08:13 PM:

Shawn, #914, she likes your poem! She really likes your poem!

#924 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 08:35 PM:

Hey. She can like it for mysterious reasons, and I can like it because it runs circles around the subject, uses a shite-load of internal rhymes, and is more subtle than my first poem.

#925 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2007, 10:34 PM:

Wait... you mean she has her own Yahoo! message group? Get outta here. Man, I'm going to go self publish something right now so I can have my own message group too.
There are some days where I feel like a pretentious schmuck and folks like Cheryl and Lanaia come along and knock me down a peg or five.
Thanks Cheryl and Lanaia!

#926 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2007, 01:16 AM:

Shawn Struck: you won a what? The decon shower is thataway----->

#927 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2007, 08:53 AM:

JKRichard, what's pretentious about a Yahoo group? It's only a bunch of people who want to keep up with each other. I've started three, all now defunct: one for a particularly obscure fanfic series, one for classmates who were, um, discouraged from gathering to kvetch about class, and one for arranging dog rescues post Katrina.

#928 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2007, 02:35 PM:

Lila: However, unlike Lanaia, you did not start a Yahoo! group about yourself.

#929 ::: Ian Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2007, 10:22 PM:

Hello everyone
I would just like to make a short statement and I would ask you to forgive me in advance for my punctuation ,grammar and spelling I mearley wish to thank and apologizes to Holly for embarrassing her she defended me knowing me has a person my character and my feelings the person I am .

my original post was based on the information I had and being the person I am I need to hear both sides to a argument I could not make an abjuratory judgment of what I new at the time

and has the subject of the email has been raised on more than one occasion please reread and note it does not ask me to come here but to go to Lanaia web page

All this said my point of being here again is to ask you all to not think of a friend badly because I have been unable to express my self in a way you understand

I have a great love of poetry and what may not appeal to one may to another I read and enjoy much that is posted on the internet so even though I can not write a word that would make sense to most it does not mean I cannot appreciate the work of others

I have tried my best to explain my feelings and I apologise again if it offends

#930 ::: Helen ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 03:13 AM:

Re "Come to find out"--

Helen, #901 -
I don't usually use it in text, but "come to find out," is a part of my speech at least occasionally. What's wrong with it here?

Yes, as others have pointed out to me, it's a regionalism. Interesting, we don't have that in Australia. We have some doozies, like "Being as How". Example--

I had a lay down (yes, that is also common Australian usage, lay intstead of lie) being as how I'd been up all night and I was buggered (=tired).

Regionalisms must be a minefield for fiction writing.

#931 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 03:38 AM:

Helen @ 930

"Being as how" is Australian? Interesting; I first heard it in the American South. Texas or Oklahoma, I think, but I'm not sure.

Yes, regionalisms are hard from two points of view. First, you can't let your own creep into your writing too much; they'll either be perceived as quaint or precious, or they'll be incomprehensible to natives of other regions. Second, when you really want to create a regional or dialect voice for a character, you have to be careful to dilute it quite a bit; normal strength will be too distracting for the reader to pay close attention to the story most of the time.

Of course, that begs the question of what a non-regional voice is. The answer depends on where your audience is. And if you get your work published someplace else, you get a really good editor like our host, PNH, to edit it for that new audience.

Disclaimer: I am not a published author, but I have read others' work to help with regional word choice and cadences for places where I've lived.

#932 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 04:00 AM:

Helen @930: Interesting. Sounds like a fairly simple corruption of a phrase that's common in the UK, "seeing as how".

#933 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 04:52 AM:

Pyre @928

As it happens, I've started not one but two Yahoogroups about myself. Or at least my alter ego has, by request of other people. It's a common enough author tool in some genres. It's not surprising that someone playing the Published Author RPG has a Yahoogroup, but the Yahoogroup itself is not by itself a marker of RPGness, any more than having a blog is.

(Now, if someone created a usenet group in their own honour, *then* I'd start thinking they might be a member of the cargo cult.)

#934 ::: ema nymtonsti ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 05:35 AM:

FWIW: I'm Australian, and have never heard "being as how", but have heard "seeing as how". Must be even more regional than 'Australian'!

#935 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 09:27 AM:

Pyre @ #928, yes I did; it was my fanfic.

Bruce @ #931, dialogue written in a regional dialect is like the little girl with the little curl right in the middle of her forehead; when it is good, it is very very good, and when it is bad it is horrid. See, for example, Bailey White for an example of "good" (click on "excerpt" and read pp. 3 to 5). Bad examples are left as an exercise for the reader, particularly the reader from the region whose dialect is allegedly being represented.

#936 ::: Jackie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 11:02 AM:

My da is from Oklahoma. Must be the origin of "being as how" cuz he says it all the time.

#937 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 01:34 PM:

Lila 935: Spider Robinson's attempt at NYC Metro Area dialects are an example of "bad." He never realized that 'youse' is strictly plural. I cringed when reading it.

#938 ::: John Loonam ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 02:58 PM:

Re: the whole Of Atlantis scenario, something here stinks like a rotten fish in a fish house.

I'm thinking there's a scheme behind this by scammers to scam the antiscammers. The similarity to Atlantis Nights in titles, the caliber of the writing in posts by the principals, which while rife with typos and grammatical naiveté is extraordinarily lucid for such idioitic writing, the call to have Jane Little interview the writer and review excerpts, consequently getting it exposed, and the furor that has arisen over the issue all lead me to think this is a more insidious scheme than appears even on its surface.

Of course, the simple motive behind Of Atlantis may be as perceived, but it seems ludicrous to me that anyone would think they could get away with this. Unless it's someone who's totally clueless about today's world, an English as second language speaker, and mentally deficient in fundamental ways, likely not even capable of the cognitive functions necessary for writing. I can't believe there's any such person.

Some of the principal scammers involved have been outed in other ways, why not steal a march on their antagonists and get something back? Not all the scammers need be cooperating in this possible conspiracy, this wouldn't take more than one or two persons acting in concert to achieve a less than noble goal. In so doing they might become as infamous as the participants in the Atlantis Nights scheme, which, near as I can tell, is a success in catching scammers, a publishing successs, and a coop for its participants.

Atlantis Nights is an original work, while Of Atlantis clearly is not. The former scheme has noble causes, the latter has no redeeming value. It is the fruit of a poisoned tree.

#939 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 03:11 PM:

#938: The similarity to Atlantis Nights in titles

Would it be terribly, terribly anal to point out that it's Atlanta Nights?

#940 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 03:12 PM:

John@938: You underestimate the capacity for human cluelessness.

#941 ::: John Loonam ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 04:03 PM:

#939 Dave

No, not anal, Atlanta, Atlantic, Atlantis, my slightly dyslexic syndrome showing up, unless you hit on 'idioitic' too. My copyeditor persona is off on Sundays. But I still stand beside my opinion that something in the Of Atlantis scheme stinks worse than the ordinary fish house stink.

#942 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 04:19 PM:

John Loonam @ 938:

Unless it's someone who's totally clueless about today's world, an English as second language speaker, and mentally deficient in fundamental ways, likely not even capable of the cognitive functions necessary for writing.
Other than "English as second language speaker" -- the more accurate term might be "functional semiliterate" -- I think you've pegged it.
In so doing they might become as infamous as the participants in the Atlantis Nights scheme, which, near as I can tell, is a success in catching scammers, a publishing successs, and a coop for its participants.
This has at least been a success in identifying scammers (though no arrests have been made); a well publicized event (in the narrow context of blogs), though for a "publishing success" all a vanity press requires is the author's cash in hand; and "a coop for its participants" -- yes, oh yes, that's a wonderful way of putting it.

#943 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 05:16 PM:

abi@917, Eleanor@918, Bruce@920: Thank you for your kind words. Of course, Making Light is an inspiring sort of place.

I just now thought to Google the exact phrase "underworld typewriter". Heh. I see that makinglight is hit #2. And the others hits appear to be mere tyops, except for the one that talks about the symbolism of an Underworld typewriter in some film (I think Moulin Rouge), and the Orpheos myth. I suspect that that is yet another misreading, but now I think I will need to rent that film, just to be sure.

An Orphic take on the Underworld typewriter. Hm.

#944 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 05:34 PM:

Owlmirror @ 943: A series of memos between Orpheus and Hades, negotiating the return of Eurydice? Perhaps if it were rhymed and metred. The last line (from Hades) could sneakily use "don't look back" in an ambiguous sense: "take the deal and don't look back."

#945 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 05:35 PM:

I just had the thought that maybe Roval could get reviews published in those newspapers. Those little ads at the bottom of the page, in the back of the book review section, in very small type, that no one actually reads because they're for books no one really wants ....

#946 ::: Avis HG ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 05:40 PM:

Phew! Just got to the end of this thread. So chaps are we going for the 1000?

What has happened to Lanaia & chums now? Can I ever watch Stargate-SG1 with a straight face again?

For answers to these and other questions.....

#947 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 05:49 PM:

I need to watch more SG-1. I've seen a few episodes, but I don't remember the Lanaia character.

#948 ::: R.M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 06:11 PM:

Xopher, #937:
I've known for years that people want to insist that y'all is singular, but I'd never heard anyone do it with any other of the second-person plurals.* It seems really crazy to me. Why would people make up a second-person plural to distinguish from the singular, then use it as a singular? If we want the singular and plural to sound the same, English already has that covered.

*Probably because I almost never encounter them.

#949 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 06:15 PM:

Have y'all checked out some of Lanaia's "dark poetry"? There's quite a selection (with some annoying popup ads) at http://www.angelfire.com/art2/flaminghorsestudios/pathN.html , for values of N that are 1-3 (there's also a page 4, but that seems to host poems by a "David Anthony Lee" instead), from which I have to present a few scattered lines:

"Father, Seti I, made sure my path was well planned and our names would remain immortal by text."
(Isn't the narrator's reference to his father as "Seti I" rather like having someone in the 1920s refer to the late unpleasantness as "World War I"?)

"We kneel in the presence of Isis, mother of Horace"

and an entire stanza:

"Oh, such a lovely day here in our fair city of Pompeii
As I sit in my small enclosed garden outside my house
A beautiful day, we have no idea of the devastation about to happen as we work, as we play
Devastation about to engulf us as the volcano lies quiet as silent as a mime."

(I, too, am speechless... but would also like to note that it's an interesting exercise to compare her prose to "The Eye of Argon".)

#950 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 06:37 PM:

Melissa @ 947: SG-1 spelled it "Linea".

#951 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 06:50 PM:

Julie L @ 949: Yes, and it was Horus (with that Latin -us suffix) who wrote all that Latin poetry, just to help keep the two distinct, right?

The Pompeii story sounds like a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon strip, with them starting to tip a bucket of burning coals over a collection of tiny figurines.

#952 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 07:02 PM:

I always thought the ancient world was an untainted paradise - and now I discover that they had MIMES?!

#953 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 07:03 PM:

Julie L @ 949. Did she write anything about railway bridges, perchance?

I mean, it's clear she's not actually this generation's EAP, but it strikes me, on those examples, that there is a Victorian Poet she might be a reincarnation of ...

#954 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 07:11 PM:

Julie L @ 949

Maybe we should call her work "The Poesy of Xenon"?

#955 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 07:38 PM:

The weird part is, Spider Robinson is from Long Island, and presumably got into the city now and again, even aside from the similarity and overlap between dialects. (I think he went to Stony Brook before getting that "job as a night watchman on a sewer project in Babylon, Long Island.")

It's enough to make me wonder if he knew someone who said "youse" for "you," and is overgeneralizing. Or whether Brooklyn wasn't part of the city he got to, and he was willing to believe second- or third-hand sources about it.

#956 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 07:43 PM:

Pyre @ 950: Thank you. Interesting character to choose.

#957 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 07:46 PM:

Atlanta Nights has sold in excess of 500 copies. In terms of self-or-vanity-published books that makes it a runaway mega-hit best seller.

#958 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 07:49 PM:

Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) #954: I think it should be called 'Poesy that's been Krypton'.

#959 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 08:09 PM:

Bruce Cohen @ 954... "The Poesy of Xenon", Warrior Electrician?

#960 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 08:24 PM:

@949,@954,@958,@959: The Last Song of Krypton ?

Sing, goddess, the rage of Kal-El the son of Jor-El,
the destructive rage that sent countless pains on the Kryptonians...

Just writes itself, really.

#961 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 08:38 PM:

Owlmirror... I'd have thought that Krypton's Last Song would be The Red, White and Blue Kryptonite...

(Less than 40 entries left and this thread will hopefully and mercifully implode because, almost every time I post here, I feel like I'm picking on a kitten who should know better but doesn't.)

#962 ::: Woormwood ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 09:16 PM:

Owlmirror @ 900:

Dear Madam,

I regret that I must be the one to inform you that your complaint has not reached its intended recipient. Indeed, any firther communication from you will be discarded unread. For some obscure reason you think that we are all stipid darfs here at Underworld Typwriters, LLLP.

You, as well as all of our 20**20 happy authors need only read their contracts to realize that they are iron-clad examples of TRVTH, and that we have fulfilled our parts completely. Perhaps if you would apply yourself as dilligently to advertizing your Book, you would have better sells.

Underworld Typewriters, LLLP is a traditional typewriter company, and we expect your abject and grovelling apology immediately and post haste.

Augur Support

#963 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 10:09 PM:

vian @953: Did she write anything about railway bridges, perchance?

Alas, no, but there are several about the Titanic. I think I particularly like the one that ends thus:

"When the boat touches the ocean there is music I think I hear' Nearer My God To Thee?'
To get away from the ship we row as fast as we can
Next total darkness, awful silence as we know the ship is lost ti the deep dark sea
When we took this trip this event was not part of the over all plan."

#964 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 10:46 PM:

@962: I've lost more keyboards reading this thread.

And no, thank you, I will not purchase an Underworld. Although the company does provide one free shekel with every blood contract, I am not especially happy with the fact that Underworld holds the rights to everything I produce with said typewriter for a minimum of seven years. Upon further reading the fine print, I see that the option is extended to eternity on publication.

I always said I'd be damned if I was published by Underworld.

#965 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 10:50 PM:

Errgh. Should be "I always knew..."

Methinks I should get some sleep.

#966 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2007, 10:54 PM:

When we took this trip this event was not part of the over all plan.

Hah! McGonagall wishes he'd written that!

It makes "near, far, we bonked in the car" sound like poetry. Almost.

#968 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 02:47 AM:

Shawn @ 967: So when will Bat Out of Hell IV be recorded?

#969 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 03:35 AM:

I can see the marketing now.

Underworld Typewriters: Why wait to be published to be damned?

#970 ::: Madeline Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 04:31 AM:

Not to spoil the fun or anything, but it does look like this thread, in between the off-topic fun, has descended into mere picking on Lanaia (most recently in #949 and #967).

#971 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 06:26 AM:

Underworld Typewriters just released (at last) their first word processor for Windows, with features like the boiled font.

#972 ::: Nix ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 08:16 AM:

Joel @#667, it's made from polonium.

Or perhaps balonium.

#973 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 08:23 AM:

MacGonagall, MacGonagall, there's no-one like MacGonagall,
The patron saint of verse that ain't, of meter that's moronical.
Yes, when the sense is silly, and the scansion not meticulous,
When crashing falls the couplet, with a bathos past ridiculous,
When similes as flat as flags are sprinkled everywhere,
Aye, there's the wonder of the thing: MacGonagall is there...

#974 ::: TashaTwo ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 08:46 AM:

Are we there yet?

#975 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 09:18 AM:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
What of this thread?
Finally thru?

#976 ::: aggie ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 09:30 AM:

There's now mention of the plagiarism in David Gemmell's Wikipedia page.

#977 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 10:22 AM:

Not to spoil the fun or anything, but it does look like this thread, in between the off-topic fun, has descended into mere picking on Lanaia (most recently in #949 and #967).

I beg your pardon!

I made that poem as a riff, but I swear it was not to make fun. Thank you, Internet Police, for pointing out that "Hey, I was inspired by something she posted to whip out a freestyle take on the same subject that I'm proud of" is "icking on" someone.

#978 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 10:55 AM:

Shawn@977: There are no "Internet Police" here, only people expressing opinions. (And this fiendish writer is thinking that she agrees with Madeline@970.)

#979 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 11:10 AM:

I dunno, saying "You are picking on someone", but couching it in "I think people are picking on them, here's Shawn's latest poem as an example" seems to be a pretty backhanded way of making an accusation.

So, to clarify: The poem was not picking on L. Lee. I did not create the poem with the intent to pick on L. Lee. For fudge's sake... I read her poem which had a great conceit: "I love you so much, I'm willing to invoke all sorts of dark things to get you back". I took what she wrote, thought about it for a moment, and riffed on it. And not riff, as in, "Here, let me parody her style", or "Let me take my style and throw in subtle japes at her" but "Hey, let me take this subject matter, run with it and see what sort of keystyle I can spit in about fifteen minutes".

That's IT.

I shared it here because I figured readers would be interested. Believe it or don't, but the last three poems have been inspired, directly or indirectly by her, and I've been stepping up my freestyle game because of it.

I can't answer for anyone else but me, but I hope for the Flying Spaghetti Monster's sake, this clarifies MY intent.

#980 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 11:15 AM:

Re: Internet Police, picking on people etc., there's two major issues being discussed:

a. David Gemmel's work being used under the name Lanaia Lee (and all the stuff that flows from that); and
b. the quality of Lanaia's own work.

and some of the fun that people are having* with (b.) might look a bit mean-spirited. On the other hand, the sympathy that I might feel about someone's writing being mocked is strained by (a.); I can't write like David Gemmel** and (more relevantly) aren't putting my work up claiming it's in a publishable state, but Lanaia has/is, and so is opening it up for criticism.


* making fun being in this case a subset of having fun
** That's not perfectly true; I can*** write short pastiches of some of his more distinctive passages, although they have a tendency to slip over into parody.
*** And have, although hopefully the only copies are hidden in the loft.

#981 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 11:20 AM:

Neil:

Okay, point taken. I can't answer for everyone else pointing and laughing-- all I can do is take my most recent poem, being used as the most recent example of MAKING fun, and try and clarify.

#982 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 01:12 PM:

I note that in Ms. Lee's yell box (which is active again), she says that her newest interview/article will be in the Greensboro News-Record (http://www.news-record.com/) on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I will be spending Wednesday with six thousand high school students (all prayers and good wishes gratefully accepted), but I hope to read some fascinating material on Thursday.

#983 ::: Bernita ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 02:35 PM:

Making fun?
What wrong with making light?

#984 ::: Bernita ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 02:36 PM:

Making fun?
What's wrong with making light?

#985 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 02:49 PM:

Faren's Computer looks on this with dread,
Is it not time to write 'thirty' on this thread?

#986 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 02:52 PM:

Fragano... Last time we made jokes about Faren's Computer, Faren said she almost got the urge to take an axe to it. Do you think this will finally do it?

#987 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 02:58 PM:

Just to be clear (and certainly not to try and push this thread up to 1000), I don't think the criticism is unfair yet. But it could be heading that way, so if we all think twice before pointing and laughing things will stay nice. Nice-ish, anyway.

#988 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 03:13 PM:

If Lanaia Lee were just a terrible writer, picking on her as much as we have would just be cruel.

If Lanaia Lee were just a victim of a scam agent, making fun of her would be outrageous.

If Lanaia Lee had discovered the plagiarism of her alleged ghostwriter, and instantly removed all traces of the plagiarized text from everywhere she could, with apologies, a little snickering might be justified, but it would have been muted and short-lived if she'd done the honorable thing right away.

But none of these things is the case. When the crimes of her alleged ghostwriter (the conveniently unfindable Christopher Hill) were discovered, she kept it all up, threatening lawsuits through her "agent." She was told repeatedly what she needed to do to show good faith, and kept claiming to have done nothing wrong right up until the time she stopped posting here. AFAIK she still hasn't realized that the things she did HERSELF after the plagiarism (hers or Hill's, it hardly matters) was discovered were wrong.

This is called a "complete lack of remorse."

So now it's time for Lanaia Lee to serve as a horrible counterexample. If she can't be rescued herself (and people tried, over and over and in many different ways, to do exactly that), then she can still serve a purpose. Showing what happens to remorseless plagiarists (and remember, she gave those lying interviews about her "gift" for writing) may deter others.

Does this justify pointing out the stench of her rotten poetry, which is not at all plagiarized? Yes, as long as she keeps claiming to have a "gift" for writing. Also, she threatened to sue us for slander (as did her scam agent), another sign of her stupidity on several levels. I don't know about you, but being threatened with a frivolous lawsuit by someone whom I regard as more or less a liar and a thief really pisses me off. Being told that "first amendement [sic] does not apply" just makes it worse.

I'm one of the most compassionate people I know. I hate to see people getting hurt even when they deserve it. But I'm fresh out of compassion for Lanaia Lee. And I would have been even if she hadn't played the "oh, you can't pick on poor, disabled me" card one too many times.

#989 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 03:31 PM:

Neil @980 et al.: While I concede the point of meanness and shall largely desist from further efforts, I think that in addition to (a.) and (b.), there's also a synergistic (c.) that involves Lanaia's willful blindness about the nature of self-publishing and the quality of her own work.

I don't know whether she really couldn't see the huge stylistic gap between Gemmell's prose and her own, or whether she could see it but thought that no one else would notice; either option strikes me as requiring a large degree of tone-deafness. But IMHO the most significant issue is still her eagerness to claim the laurels of a Published Poet/Author without any of the usual semi-objective standards of quality assurance (such as, say, the requirements of an independent professional editor/agent whom she doesn't have to pay beforehand). It's not good for her, and it's not good for the people around her who unthinkingly accept her own self-evaluation as a position of authority.

Frex, this discussion thread in which other participants of that forum invoke her "published poet" status in LARGE BOLD FONT, which is echoed in the delight at her approval here; also, Lanaia's own rank-pulling in her own group from the basis of her "publication" status, despite the dissent (so far being ignored) from another group member who would prefer constructive criticism to the current status quo of unreflective round-robin backslapping. (It looks as if Christopher Hill is the only person from whom she's ever accepted/adopted any editorial suggestions.)

I don't suppose that at this point, anything is going to make her want to re-evaluate her own writing, but yeah, pointing and laughing probably won't encourage that. (sigh)

#990 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 03:54 PM:

It appears that Roval Publishing's books are gone from lulu.com.

And speaking of "weirdly similar," anyone notice any similarities between this page on Roval's site and this?

#991 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 03:59 PM:

On the one hand, it is impossible* to write good poetry about this situation.

On the other, well...

To build, from words, a structure to delight
Admits the chance that those same words may lock,
Resisting movement to a righter block.
Until we pounds the keys. JUST MAKE IT WRITE!
But though I may, with pity at the sight,
Identify with her in her distress,
There is an obligation to redress
The choices she has made. JUST MAKE IT RIGHT.
A thousand comments, nearly, on this site
And more across the web. Does she deserve
Them all? She can as inspiration serve,
As well as an example. MAKE IT LIGHT.
And yet I see more firemen than fire
And making light won't make it right entire.

-----
* for me, anyway. The pedestrian voice (slightly whiny) and the leaden word choice are inescapable.

#992 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 04:27 PM:

(Though quite seriously, it *is* an interesting exercise to compare Lanaia's genuine prose style to "The Eye of Argon" wrt description, dialogue, and pacing etc.; technical questions of spelling and grammar don't even have to enter into it. The non-Gemmell drafts of "Of Atlantis" generally don't suffer from the same flaws as tEoA, after all, but they do have their own shortcomings.)

#993 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 04:55 PM:

I've refrained from posting to this thread so far partially most of the points had already been made and partially because of my personal rule that I must read or at least heavily skim every post in any thread before I post in it. I've finally caught up now, and I feel like I still want to say something. Most of the bits of what I want to say have been said, but they haven't been put together in this way yet.

I still have a little compassion left for Lanaia, however I don't think that anyone else is required to. My current feelings toward her are that quiet gasp and wrench of the heart you get when you realize someone's misfortunes stem from some terribly twisted view of the world... and if they'd just been a little more informed on how the world worked, they'd be much better off. It's sort of like the feeling you have at the end of a fantasy epic, when you learn that the evil king was just trying to 'bring peace' but was doing it in an immensely stupid, blunt, and ineffective way. It doesn't excuse his many crimes, but it gives you some insight.

I can also understand believing that what's important about a book is the ideas, not all the fiddly writing stuff. It's like believing that "heart" or "wanting it more" defines success in sport, more than exercise or training or talent. It's easy and comforting and it doesn't ask anything of you. And after a long period of wishing feverently that something were so, it's easy to start believing it... especially when you have "help".

There's a bit in a book I quite like, At Home with the Glynns by Eric Kraft, where a man teaching an art class wants to encourage students not to drop out. So he has one student who is a better artist than the others secretly 'fix' some of the sketches of other students, so they'll look at them later and be satisfied with their progress. Just a line or two, but enough. I'm certainly not condoning that activity and the book makes it clear that it's pretty shady business, but at the same time I've had that experience with my own work, especially in visual media. I look at something days/weeks/years later and I think "My God, how did I do that? Maybe I wasn't as crap as I thought." The ability to produce that effect artificially would be one of the universe's more addictive drugs.

I believe that's what happened to poor Lanaia. She had all these ideas that she was... just... trying to get out there, and failing. Then one day someone comes along and says "I see what's in there, let me clean it up a bit to let the real you shine through." And he grabbed brilliant writing and fed it to her in such a way that she could mistake it for her 'true gift' shining through. After all, these were HER characters, she must have believed that anything they did or said came from somewhere in her deep unconscious.

Sometimes, mostly when I was working group projects in college, I've been guilty of this kind of prodding and meddling. We're working as a group and someone presents an idea that is really not great. But the person is in love with it. So I rewrite the thing entirely, keeping one or two points they are especially pleased with and say "does that sound better?" or some rubbish. That way the person gets to keep their pride that their idea is the core of that section of the presentation, and I get my A. Stars and Garters, that sounds underhanded now that I write it out.

The point is, I don't think Lanaia was digging for praise for what she knew was someone else's work. It doesn't ring that way to me. (Warning, I'm about to launch into a rather elaborate metaphor here). I think that Hill and Cheryl had made their livelihood convincing her that every damn word was birthed from those ideas, those precious precious ideas she'd been turning in her mind for years. It'd be like being told your child wasn't yours, when you truly believed you remembered your labor. If you didn't know what labor is like, someone could convince you you'd been through it, and you'd never be any wiser. That's what was done to her... it's as if they told her heartburn was labor, and handed her a baby/story. She "knew" it was hers, and she loved it.

However, all that said... she reacted like a screeching madwoman, clinging to a baby that is obviously not hers and crying persecution to the people who are trying to explain that the baby was kidnapped, and even if she didn't take it she looks like a kidnapper until she returns it, and asking if she even knew where babies come from?

I understand the reason she is upset and half-crazed. However, she has also shown herself to be past the point of being gently talked-down, and she has not shown an ounce of respect for anyone else. For this reason, I don't think any of the critiques or jokes are out of hand. They're just honest responses to her work and actions. Sometimes, when people have tried to reach out and have been slapped back or burned too many times humor sort of acts like a balm, and makes it possible to give reaching out another try in the future, when someone worthy of your kindness and capable of learning comes along.

#994 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 05:14 PM:

Serge #986: I hope not!!

#995 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 05:34 PM:

Fragano @ 994... Coming soon, Colossus - The Faren Project...

#996 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 05:48 PM:

I'm probably more in agreement with the people pointing and laughing than it sounds, because I'm enjoying the show too. I hope we can be Rude without being Nasty* so I can continue to enjoy it. I was concerned not for Lanaia's sake, as my sympathy for her has run out too, but for everyone else's.

* Among the many reasons I like is that Making Light is that it's one of the corners of the internet where people might understand the distinction.

#997 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 07:45 PM:

#991 - oh, abi, that was marvelous, even by usual abi-standards.

I haven't been clicking the links to the pastiches, but I have to say that the verse about the Titanic elicited two reactions in me:

1) "As the boat touches the ocean"? What was it doing prior to hitting the iceberg--hovercrafting?

1-b) Oh. She meant the lifeboat. OK then.

2) A parodist would kill to write like this, especially the final line. You just can't do that kind of mood-shift on purpose, not when you have that sort of consistency-of-voice thing going for you even a little bit. That's priceless.

#998 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 08:02 PM:

"When we took this trip this event was not part of the over all plan."

This would be the ineffable Plan, would it?

#999 ::: TashaTwo ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 08:03 PM:

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

#1001 ::: ema nymtonsti ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 08:05 PM:

I think that the entire Titanic poem referred to here has been deleted, at least I can't find it. Did anyone keep a copy? I'm becoming obsessed with it.

#1002 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 08:22 PM:

Ask and ye shall ...

Well, you asked.

Scroll down the page.

#1003 ::: ema nymtonsti ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 08:38 PM:

Aha! Must have scanned right past it. That's almost brilliant, that is.

#1004 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 09:01 PM:

To those who are concerned that the Snark is Rising: Lanaia, on her website, claimed to be this generation's equivalent of Edgar Allen Poe. Edgar bloody Allen bloody Poe, for Ghu's sake.

If that and her lofty evocations of her Gift To The World don't invite critiques of her poetry, I don't know what does.

She makes much, as others have said, of the fact that she is a PUBLISHED AUTHOR. OK, fine. If she's going to claim any sort of authority on that basis, why shouldn't we look at exactly what, and how, she has published? Cafe Press? Please - they'd publish *my* poetry if I paid them.

She put her poems up to scrutiny, presumably hoping only for praise or sympathetic/respectful silence. Now the reviews are coming in. And while they have a degree of animus in them, that doesn't change the fact that Lanaia's no great shakes as a poet.

Her truculent behaviour has been the equivalent of painting a large target on herself while waving a red rag at a pack of enthusiastic bulls.

#1005 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 09:15 PM:

Having lurked and read through the entire, week-and-a-half long train wreck, I want to congratulate you all upon the accumulation of 1,000 posts, with only a few duplications. Anything I might have had to say about the dreadful crash itself or its victims has surely already been said.

#1006 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 09:48 PM:

And another self-published book by a disabled person. Done the right way.

#1007 ::: RichM ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 10:35 PM:

Re: the quality of the writing - Is anyone else here reminded of Florence Foster Jenkins?

"Despite her patent lack of ability, Jenkins was firmly convinced of her greatness."

#1008 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 11:02 PM:

I have one of her albums. It's ... yeah.

#1009 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 11:28 PM:

'Lanaia' might be compared to Amanda McKittrick Ros as well as to the immortal Mrs Jenkins.

#1010 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2007, 11:33 PM:

RichM 1007: But FFJ had whole concert halls full of people applauding her and telling her she was wonderful. She had more excuse than Lanaia, who has been told over and over that her feet are clay.

Still, that's a great response to her claim to be this generation's Edgar Allen Poe: "Sorry, dude, you're this generation's Florence Foster Jenkins."

#1011 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 01:37 AM:

Fragano Ledgister:

'Lanaia' might be compared to Amanda McKittrick Ros

In invective, maybe. When it comes to verse, however, Ros (or her psuedonym who wrote "The Belgum Orphan Boy" during WWI) pulls ahead handily.

I would be willing to contribute a small sum to the "Send Lanaia to the river Tay" fund...

#1012 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 03:14 AM:

I had not previously heard of Florence Foster Jenkins. I listened to the sound clip embedded in the Wikipedia article...

...words fail me.

#1013 ::: RichM ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 06:50 AM:

Xopher #1010: Concert halls full of fans, no. But it is something akin to have one's own Yahoogroup, which would have been just the thing that FFJ would have loved.

You know, there's one person in this affair that I do feel sorry for, and that's Mary's husband, who was the one who originally encouraged her to go down the self-publishing route. Maybe he saw how writing cheered her up, so he went along with the payments to Hill and later to Roval, and now they're both out the money and unhappy to boot.

#1014 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 07:27 AM:

Fragano @ 1009, thank you for introducing me to Amanda McKittrick Ros. Reading her is like eating a delicious mixed bag of candy, kittens and hammers.

#1015 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 09:37 AM:

One of the tracks on the CBC anthology CD Gilmour's Albums Volume 2 was of FFJ rend(er)ing "Adele's Laughing Song". It's very... different.

#1016 ::: TashaTwo ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 10:21 AM:

I was googling for another another author's works and right on top was this advertised link:

http://www.arborbooks.com/index.php?id=ghostwriting.html

 

Anyone has $15,000-$40,000?

#1017 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 11:12 AM:

Gilmour's Albums! I spent many happy weekends listening to that show.

#1018 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 11:55 AM:

Fragano: Yes, I'm still here, and currently more inclined to take an axe to Serge than to this computer semi-handicapped by dial-up, even though he's been nice to me in the past (and, like my beloved husband, he's a bearded movie fan who can gleefully spout reams of data about horror pix).

In this thread, the *earliest* references to popcorn munching and gleeful amusement bothered me with their utter lack of compassion. Of course, Lanaia has long since alienated all of us, but whenever we seem too much like educated snobs snickering at semi-literate hicks with grand pretensions, it strikes me as an exercise in making Darkness, not Light. (The funniest things here, our own poems and typewriter jokes, are another matter.)

#1019 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 01:08 PM:

[I meant to include a note with that part about dial-up: See, I can play the (semi)handicapped card too!]

#1020 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 01:56 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher III #1011: I was thinking more of her prose and her invective. Ros's verse is definitely better (even the Sweet Singer of Michigan's is better) than 'Lanaia's'.

#1021 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 03:51 PM:

Leah Miller @#993 ... she reacted like a screeching madwoman, clinging to a baby that is obviously not hers ...

I understand the reason she is upset and half-crazed. However, she has also shown herself to be past the point of being gently talked-down...

Thank you, your vivid analogy expresses the basic difference between sympathy (which for my part, she's long since exhausted) and compassion (I still have some left).

I do recognize that for a lot of the people here, her behavior represents a direct attack on their own home ground. Given that, much of the mockery here is clearly a "defensive response", which is why I haven't bothered to scold people over it.

But it's long since become obvious that she really isn't playing with a full deck. Not only can't she "accept correction", but she can't even grasp that there might, possibly, be valid reasons why people are upset with her.

As far as I'm concerned, someone with such a badly damaged mind is really not worth the effort of taunts or insults. If anything, she falls under "don't mock a fool(*)."

* For the broad Biblical-era concept of a "fool".

#1022 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 06:01 PM:

Faren Miller #1018: I understand your point. Plagiarists annoy the hell out of me (there's a young man who is currently on my fæcal matter list).

#1023 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2007, 06:17 PM:

David 1021: Well, I can understand that. Remember, though, that the derision we heap upon Lanaia is not for her benefit or harm, but for the benefit of the larger writing community. If it deters one plagiarist, it was all worthwhile.

OTOH...there's an Irish Triple about this. "Three rude ones of the world: A young man mocking an old man, a well man mocking a sick man, a wise man mocking a fool."

Fragano 1022: Sometimes called a "Fecal Roster."

#1024 ::: DB ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2007, 07:32 AM:

And Lanaia Lee gets her interview.

I don't detect much sympathy from the reporter. Shock, surprise, etc.

#1025 ::: Bob ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2007, 07:37 AM:

Dark Gothic Poetry by the Edgar Allen Poe of the modern age!

A shocking claim that falls miles off the truth! With the greatest of sympathy for being conned, the lack of truth and true version of events following the discovery, it's hard to find compassion in this matter. "Had" Lanaia openly admitted "Yes, this is bad, it's wrong and I'm sorry" more people would have perhaps understood. The fact is was claimed to be "all my own work" over shaddows everything.

This is just a very sorry mess and it just highlights that even a victim can harbor blame.

Sorry Lanaia but you've got to face the music on this one. We can only hope you learn from this. If your gift to the world "is" writting, pick up your pen and prove all your doubters wrong.

I wish you well in the coming months.
Bob.

#1026 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2007, 09:24 AM:

In the interview, Lanaia "blames a United Kingdom-based ghostwriter who has been accused of plagiarism in other cases, too." Has Hill been accused of that before, in addition to his known scamming?

#1027 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2007, 09:57 AM:

Hmm, the second line of my #1021 was part of the quote from Leah, it looks like my italics cut off at the paragraph break.

Xopher: Your ambivalence is noted. ;-) But is the direct mockery half so much of a "deterrent" as Leah's "screeching madwoman" analogy? Even a dire warning can be compassionate, and even compassion can be "punitive".

#1028 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2007, 12:48 PM:

Joel @1026, I suspect the reporter misunderstood that the other complainst against Hill weren't related to ghostwriting.

#1029 ::: Richard Brandt ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2007, 03:54 PM:

Attributed to Florence Foster Jenkins is a quote which at least indicates an admirable sense of her own limitations:

"They may say that I couldn't sing. But nobody can say that I didn't sing."

After reading something like that I have to admire her gumption, frankly.

#1030 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2007, 11:59 PM:

Jules @ 1028: ... or, perhaps, was misinformed by a source?

#1031 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 12:20 AM:

Richard Brandt at #1029 writes:

> Attributed to Florence Foster Jenkins is a quote which at least indicates an admirable sense of her own limitations:

> "They may say that I couldn't sing. But nobody can say that I didn't sing."

With that quote alone she wins my eternal respect.

#1032 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 01:57 AM:

In a backhanded fashion, it reminds me of the famous Liberace quote. It demonstrates a unselfpitying acceptance of reality.

Suppose she'd been a chamber soprano careful always to sing within her limitations, with an accurate and pleasant voice, and perfectly capable of giving a competent account of a Schubert song, or, on a good day, a Mozart aria not so fiendishly difficult as the Queen of the Night - a soloist who'd come in runner-up in regional eisteddfods. The sort of soprano of which I am a tenor, if you see what I mean.

Nobody would ever have heard of her.

I wonder what proportion of humans alive in the year 1905 have their own entry, under their own name, at Wikipedia?

#1033 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 03:15 AM:

Dave, is that the so-often misquoted Liberace quote where, when he was asked about his reaction to a bad review, he said he was so upset that he cried all the way to the bank? He had a few more bon mots, but I think that's the one most mis/used, if mostly unattributed.

Synchronicity Corner: right at this moment there's a play on at the Ensemble Theatre in North Sydney (well, Kirribilli nowadays) called Glorious, which is about Florence Foster Jenkins. She's played by Noelene Brown, who is not usually known as a singer, surprisingly. There's an ABC Radio National show called 'Singers of Renown' where FFJ has had the occasional outing over its 40-plus years of broadcast. Once heard, never forgotten. I do think of her as like a Patron Saint for the merely or barely adequate singer, such as myself.

My YouTube browsing for clips of FFJ turned up Diana Damrau, who I'd not heard of, plus several versions of 'Glitter and be Gay'. Wonderful things one can find on this here medium, everywhere the glint of gold.

#1034 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 08:33 AM:

you know, you may say I can't write, but you can't say that I didn't rip off people that could write.

#1035 ::: Richard Brandt ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 10:36 AM:

Mez @ 1033: "I do think of her as like a Patron Saint for the merely or barely adequate singer, such as myself."

The Salieri of vocalists?

#1036 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 01:55 PM:

And her agent chimes in today, admitting she's not actually an agent, among other things, on Absolute Write:


Hello, this Cheryl Pillsbury;
Yes I used Published America and regret it, I didn't know about there reputation until later
Outskirts is a self-publishing company
Roval is also a self-publishing company, one of the best because they don't charge extra fees for each item and they work with you directly.
I'm not an agent, per say, my company is small, we guide others through the process and not make the mistakes I made. We give you a list of our members who are free to work with you for you, give you access to a publishers list, a one time fee to set this up and that's it. The members are paid for their work.
We have legal proof of what Mr. Hill did and if we could find him, he would be extremely scared.
I never cursed anyone, I'm not qualified to do that, but my guide and high priestess can if I ask her.
The book, 'Of Atlantis' is on hold until my employee is finished comparing both books to make sure they are no longer identical.
Yes we have apologized, many times over but it doesn't seem to be enough.
I know we're innocent in this, I'm sorry it happened and I'm sorry everyone is having a field day with words and when this cleared up, crow will be served with butter.
There is not much more we can do but to wait, burnings went out centuries ago

Crow will be eaten with butter.

...WITH BUTTER, DO YOU HEAR ME?!

#1037 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 02:20 PM:

The book, 'Of Atlantis' is on hold until my employee is finished comparing both books to make sure they are no longer identical.

Well, geez, they were never identical. One of the names was changed, sometimes, and while I haven't done a side-by-side comparison, I bet there were more typos in the Lanaia version.

#1038 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 02:33 PM:

One cannot make up such a character as this not-agent Cheryl Pil(l)sbury.

*goes away to stab out my eyes with a butter knife*

#1039 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 02:38 PM:

"Yes we have apologized" vs "I know we're innocent in this"

Sigh.

#1040 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 02:40 PM:

Cheryl really, really needs to run her stuff through a spelling and grammar check before she releases it into the world.

#1041 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 02:40 PM:

Fools. Everyone knows crow should be eaten stuffed with garlic and thyme.

#1042 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 03:39 PM:

I find Cheryl very inspiring. I'm somewhat ashamed of this fact.

The crow was served well buttered,
If slightly light on salt.
Apologies were uttered
But it was no one's fault.

The salad had no dressing;
There wasn't any bread.
They didn't mind distressing
The family of the dead.

The carrots when they picked 'em
Had scarce begun to grow
The agent played the victim
The author doubly so.

Dessert was warm ice cream float
And sodden gingerbread
And when they named their scapegoat
The ghostwriter had fled.

But though the meal was tasteless,
The drinks were even worse.
Her manner may be graceless
But she at least can't curse.

So when the sauce is cooking
Be sure to let me know
I wonder who'll be looking
To eat the buttered crow?

#1043 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 04:07 PM:

Wow, it hadn't occurred to me that this thread would still be going...

Since people were comparing Lanaia Lee to Florence Foster Jenkins, I want to point out that FFJ put on charity concerts in the '30s which, IIRC, were widely attended. She wasn't exactly a vocal talent, but she did raise money for charity.

#1044 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 04:15 PM:

abi--

I know, isn't that weird? LL seemed to do the same for me-- and not just parody, but legitimate poetry (even though some people thought my latest was the same thing)!

#1045 ::: Shawn Struck ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 04:18 PM:

Aw heck, premature postulation. The rest of my post SHOULD have said:

"Be that as it may that's an amusing, entertaining poem. You get 3 gold starts and a cookie from me!"

#1046 ::: Alma Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 05:41 PM:

abi #1042 - Bravo!

#1047 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 05:51 PM:

Yeah, the more I think about it, it's insulting to compare Lanaia Lee to Florence Foster Jenkins.

Insulting to FFJ, that is.

And abi...as always.

#1048 ::: Steven Gould ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2007, 05:41 PM:

Author warns others of scam
By Tiffany S. Jones
Staff Writer
"The only thing I'm being guilty of is being stupid and naïve," she said.

And don't forget stupid. (I know, but really, the amount of stupid here is not sufficiently expressed by a single repetition.)

#1049 ::: Ian. Williamson ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2007, 06:39 PM:

#1042 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2007, 03:39 PM:

abi I enjoyed your poem

#1050 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2007, 05:27 PM:

This whole thing seems like a badly written literary ve